The Abia State Commissioner of Police, Mr Eneh Okon, has confirmed the alleged killing of one Kasarachi Moses by SARS officers in Ubakala, Umuahia South Local Government Area.
The victim was a middle-aged woman, who sells fruits by the roadside.
Following the tragedy, the residents of Akpunmiri Ubakala, on Thursday, took to the streets to protest the death of their kinsman.
Sources disclosed that the deceased was hit by a stray bullet from the gun of one of the policemen, who were reportedly trailing suspected armed robbers, on Wednesday.
Further disclosed that the victim died of the bullet injury sustained.
The residents however, lamented that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives were in the habit of raiding the area to arrest commercial motorcyclists adding that it was during one of their usual raids that the deceased was hit by a stray bullet.
The residents called for justice, charged the state police command to investigate the incident and bring the culprit to book.”
However, Abia State Commissioner of Police , Eneh Okon on Friday told newmen said that he was in Abuja for an official assignment when he learnt of the incident.
Okon said “We got a distress call that armed robbers were operating at Ubakala and the SARS operatives responded to the distress call.
“But on sighting the SARS operatives, the armed robbers, who were five in number and operating in military uniform, started shooting at the policemen.
“It was during the exchange of gunfire that a stray bullet hit the victim, who later died in hospital.
“One of the suspects dropped his weapon and fled the scene, while the Sienna SUV used by the policemen for the operation had a lot of bullet holes.”
Okon added that a panel of inquiry had been set up to investigate the incident.
He urged members of the public to remain calm as efforts were ongoing to restore peace in the area.
He assured residents of the state that the command was working round the clock to ensure that they enjoyed a peaceful Christmas and New Year celebrations.