Shot in the chest

Sharon Mathala
SHOT BY COPS: Tiro Kgadimapa

•He was unarmed and did not provoke police-eye witnesses

* He wrestled for a fire arm with a cop- Motube

A Friday night neighbors’ gathering around the fire has ended tragically for a 34- year -olol Gaborone man who was shot in the chest by a police officer.

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Tiro Kgadimapa, who is currently fighting for his life at Princess Marina Intensive care Unit, was hit with a rubber bullet at close range at a get together with the neighbours in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Speaking in an interview, a shocked eyewitness said, “It was around 2am when two uniformed police officers; a special constable and a Sargent came to disperse our fireside gathering. There were about 10 of us, neighbours who had decided to sit around the fire and the police said we had been reported for noise making.”

The eyewitness who only identified himself as Potter said the special constable then filled a bucket with water and doused the fire, dispersing the crowd immediately.

“As we were leaving the officer took out his gun and shot Tiro on the chest at close range. The rubber bullet pierced through his chest and lodged itself inches away from his heart. The officers then asked us to help them load his body into their van but we refused and told them to do so on their own because they shot him unprovoked,” claimed the eyewitness.

However Police Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube told The Voice in an interview that on that Saturday morning police were on a regular patrol when they noticed a group of individuals not observing social distancing as per the COVID-19 rules.

“They had no masks on and they were not observing social distancing so the officers tried to disperse them but unfortunately one of them wrestled for a firearm with a police officer and the firearm went off and he was shot by mistake,” Motube said when confirming the incident.

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The top cop further said investigations into the incident were ongoing but police had already drafted a possible charge for the man lying in hospital.

“ Together with his friends he will be charged with failure to wear a safety mask, failure to observe social distancing as well as obstructing a police officer in due execution of his duties,” Motube explained.

Meanwhile the injured man’s father said police were yet to brief him on what happened to his son.

“The best people to tell you what happened to my son are those who were there. The Police are yet come here to tell me what happened. His neighbors’ told me about the incident so I am waiting on the Police. I am not in a good space right now to speak further on this matter,” said the visibly anguished father.

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