The New Dawn (Monrovia)

15 November 2012

Liberia: Criminals Terrorize Doe Community

A terrible armed robbery incident has severely left at least three persons wounded in Doe Community, on Bushrod Island, leaving residents there panicking.

Victims Prince Tanagbele, 21, and Veyea Sesay were rushed at a nearby medicine store called Uncle Peter Medicine Store on Dryland, Doe Community by community residents where they were treated immediately to stop profuse bleedings, while the other victim, who was taken to other directions before this paper's arrival could not be reached up to news time.

Doctor Peter D. Neawon extracted two bullets from victim Prince Tanagbele's leg following an operation on the victim, measuring the wound as deep as almost six inches.

The doctor told this paper that the sutures (stitches) he gave Prince were almost 14 to 15, and suggested that the victim needed to seek an x-ray though he revealed the leg is not damaged.

Prince Tanagbele painfully narrated that while charging over 50 customers' phones in a phone booth left under his watch by his older brother only identified as AB, an armed man entered the booth and ordered him to pack everything there.

"While packing the phones, he fired the first bullet in my ear, but it never caught me. The second, he fired [it] on my [kneel]. After he did that, he wanted to remove the light bulb to make the place dark before taking everything," said Prince.

He said while the suspect (unidentified) was standing at the door of the booth, he (Prince) pushed the gunman aside and started running away, but the suspect kept firing after him.

"I was charging over 50 phones; a laptop, several scratch cards, as well as the money we use for foreign exchange purpose; I'm just coming here, and I don't know the community. I am 21 years old from Gbarnga, Bong County," Prince said painfully. For his part, Veyea Sesay said he was attacked and chopped with cutlass on his arm by some residents, who mistook him for one of the suspects.

"I was coming home when I heard a sound like fire cracker [referring to the gun firing sound], but I thought it was some individuals who have been supplying current to houses here and I had the fear that my appliances would be damaged by the connection of other lines," said Veyea.

As he approached the booth where the boy (Prince) was attacked; Veyea said he unknowingly stood around the booth along with a girl closed to the suspect that was being pursued by residents.

"He then questioned me, "so that you the people sent to come and attack me?" upon hearing that, I suspected that something was happening and I began escaping from him. While running, unfortunately for me people from nearby zinc shacks chased me as the rouge," Veyea narrated.

The victim said while identifying himself to the group, he had already been chopped on his arm by one of nearly five men armed with cutlasses that were attacking him.

"In the process, I demanded that the man, who chopped me, should take me to the hospital for treatment and from there we would proceed to the police station," Veyea said.

Meanwhile, residents of the community said the suspect had fled the crime scene before police arrived. Several community dwellers, who stood around the medicine store where the victims were undergoing treatment, expressed shock over the time (9:00pm) of the incident, describing the suspects as terrible.

The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police Chris Massaquoi recently told reporters in Monrovia that the police lack capacity to adequately respond to growing wave of crimes, particularly armed robbery in the capital.

Col. Massaquoi's comment followed a recent armed robbery incident in Old Road community, which left one of the victims' ear chopped by the criminals.

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