Police operatives from the Imo State Command have shot dead a kidnap suspect in a foiled attempt to abduct the owner of a supermarket at Ikenegbu in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state.
The incident, which took place around 1 pm on Saturday, caused a stampede as passersby scampered for safety.
An eyewitness said the owner of the supermarket was double crossed by the hoodlums just near Kilimanjaro Ekwema Crescent, Ikenegbu.
But luck ran out on them when a police team engaged the hoodlums in a gun duel and in the process shot one of the suspects dead. The suspect was said to be the driver of the gang.
The Public Relations Officer ASP, Henry Okoye, confirming the incident said hoodlums came to rob a jewellery shop at Ikenegbu.
He said a distress call was received from a civic minded resident at about 1300hrs, that hoodlums numbering about seven, armed with sophisticated weapons came with a white Hilux covered plate number and were robbing a jewelry shop situated at Ikenegbu in Imo State.
He said on sighting police operatives, the hoodlums opened fire but were overwhelmed by the operatives who forced the hoodlums to succumb to their superior fire power.
He disclosed that in the gun duel that ensued, one of the hoodlums was neutralised, two were arrested while others escaped with various degrees of gunshot injuries.
He said the following items were recovered: two pump action guns, four locally made pistols, eight rounds of live cartridges, one expended cartridge, the white Hilux used for the operation with reg. no BRR 586 XA, jewellery valued millions of naira, two military under polo, two special forces t-shirts and bags containing other stolen items were recovered.
Due to the swift response, none of the shop owners or their customers were hurt, he added.
He said manhunt had been intensified for other fleeing suspects and the manufacturers of the locally made pistols while the body of the dead suspect had been deposited at the morgue.