Kampala- A police officer in Tororo District collapsed and died on Sunday shortly after realising that he had shot a civilian while trying to stop revellers fighting over a bar maid.
ASP Siraj Tibata, who was the officer-in-charge Molo Police Post in Molo Sub-county, was pronounced dead on arrival at a nearby clinic where good samaritans rushed him.
“We suspect that he could have died of shock after realising that he had shot at someone or he could have been suffering from heart attack,’’ said Mr John Emiriat, the Molo Sub-county chairperson.
The gunshot victim, Mr Dominic Omaset, was first admitted to Hope Clinic before being transferred to Tororo Hospital where he is recuperating.
According to witnesses, the fight erupted after a group of about seven men disagreed on who among them was the best suitor for one of the maids at Aqua Pub in Magotes Trading Centre on Tororo- Mbale road.
The disagreement morphed into spat and physical confrontation.
The viciousness of the fight prompted the bar owner, Ms Betty Among, to dash to the nearby police post for help.
ASP Tibata led a team of three policemen to the bar, but the fighters reportedly charged on them. Some pelted the police with stones, prompting them to shoot.
In the scuffle, one bullet caught Mr Omaset, injuring him badly. On realising that he had shot someone, ASP Tibata reportedly began sweating profusely, collapsed and was pronounced dead shortly after at Hope Clinic.
“The deceased had led other police officers to the scene to contain chaos that had broken out at the bar but, unfortunately, during the fracas, he accidentally shot one of the residents and shortly, he collapsed and died under unclear circumstances,” said Mr John Opio, one of the residents.
The deceased and the gunshot victim were reported to be friends. The District Police Commander, Mr John Rutagira, said no arrest had been made but investigations were underway.
“As a family of police, we are bereaved. We have, however, initiated investigations to establish the cause of his death,” he said.
Mr Emiriat described the deceased as a disciplined officer and he blamed residents for being lawless.
“They provoked police to fire bullets after they refused to heed to their orders to stop the fighting, which is very wrong and unacceptable. We have to be law-bidding citizens,” he said.