MY spirit, reject pollution in the name of Jesus Christ. Instead of polluting my spirit, take me home in the name of Jesus Christ. Take me home in the name of Jesus Christ.”
The above were the words of Police Inspector Monday Gabriel on Sunday morning after he was arrested and tied with ropes by policemen from Ilaje Police Station in Bariga, Lagos.
Gabriel had gone berserk after killing a member of police team led by him, Sergeant Felix Okago, at Onikan on Lagos Island.
It was learnt that immediately sensed Okago’s death , he drove off from the scene and headed for Akoka, Lagos where he ran into a gutter along St Finbarr’s College Road (now Rev. Father Dennis Slattery Road}.
Further frustrated by the development, Gabriel of 21 Police Mobile Force (PMF) Squadron Abuja attached to the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), jumped out of the metallic grey Pick Up van and started a shooting spree that caused many residents of the area to panic.
About 500 metres from where the pick up disappointed him, he moved to the front of 33 St Finbarr’s College Road where he knocked severally at its door without a response from any of the residents.
At that pointed, he began firing directly at the metal door and then turned to another house adjacent and shot sporadically into the air.
A resident, who said he saw the policeman knocking and shooting a few metres away , put the number of shots at between 100 and 150.
Pleading anonymity, the resident said, “I was sitting a few metres away meditating when he arrived at about 5.30am. When he was knocking I was not scared but when he started firing I had to sneak out. I even wanted to record him with my phone but I was too scared. That man must have fired not less than 100 or 150 times because he was well armed.”
Gabriel was said to have gone haywire after a disagreement with his team members around Onikan and opened fire on his colleagues, killing Okago, and allegedly injuring others.
The Nation counted 12 bullets holes on the door of house and 15 others at the corridor and ceiling.
About 36 live ammunition were said to have been recovered from Gabriel, who displayed possible Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) upon his arrest by the police.
Two other residents, who said they took cover when the shootings started, said they were lucky that no bullet hit a gas shop in front of the house on 33 St. Finbarr’s College Road, otherwise, the story would have been disastrous.
Narrating her ordeal, a lady who gave her name simply as Ayomide, said they were praying around 5am or 5.30am when they suddenly started hearing gunshots.
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Ayomide said, “We thought robbers had arrived. We were scared, we were vigilant and we were afraid afraid at the same time. We sensed that the person firing was so mean.
“He was firing seriously. Everybody was afraid. He wanted to enter. He was asking who is in the house?
“But nobody answered him. He was firing at the door so the bullets penetrated through the iron door, hit all bottles, crates, chairs, buckets at the corridor and then the walls and even our ceiling.
“The doorsteps of most of our tenants here were hit as well. It is only God that saved us in this area. They say he is a policeman. I do not know a normal policeman that will do that kind of thing. Even armed robbers cannot shoot like that.”
Another resident, Benjamin Joseph, said the “shooter was a frustrated policeman who got fed up with his colleagues’ excesses and shot some of them before he was overpowered.”
He added: “We also learnt that it all started around Onikan area of Lagos. But after killing his colleague, he drove their patrol vehicle all alone till he got to Akoka, where the truck fell into a ditch.
“He was actually walking to Bariga when he started shooting ( probably to scare away everybod
y else ) but was ambushed/overpowered by a team of policemen dispatched by the police high command.”
From short videos recorded by residents after he was restrained with a rope by operatives from the Bariga Police Division and Rapid Response Squad (RRS), the Inspector kept screaming “my spirit reject pollution in the name of Jesus Christ. Instead of polluting my spirit, take me home in the name of Jesus Christ. Take me home in the name of Jesus Christ,” a development suggestive of a possible mental illness.
Spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkana, said in a statement yesterday that the Area A command received a distress call around 4:30am that one Inspector Gabriel from 21 Police Mobile Force Squadron Abuja, on special duty in a Federal Government facility in Ikoyi, Lagos, went berserk and started shooting sporadically.
Elkana’s statement reads: “One Sergeant Felix Okago, who was on special duty with the Inspector, died from the gunshot injuries while others escaped unhurt. In an attempt to escape, he took a patrol van and headed towards Third Mainland Bridge, shooting as he was escaping. He was intercepted by Policemen from Bariga Division who disarmed and handcuffed him.
“The rifle and vehicle were recovered. The corpse of the deceased Sergeant is deposited in the mortuary for autopsy while the Inspector is taken to Police Hospital for medical examination as he presented signs of mental depression.
“The Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of investigation to take over the investigation. The command deeply condoles with the family of the fallen colleague who paid the supreme price in service to his fatherland.”