A middle-aged man, identified as Francis Ene, was hit and killed by a stray bullet during a faceoff between operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and some armed robbers in Ilupeju, Lagos.
Mr Ene, 38, died around 7:30 a.m. on Monday.
Bala Elkana, the Lagos police spokesperson, said the SARS operatives were on their way to recover arms from a notorious gang when they were ambushed.
“While being led by a notorious gang leader, Ikechukwu Monye, to where their arms are kept, they were ambushed by members of the gang along Ajisegiri Street Ilupeju,” Mr Elkana said.
“The assailants shot sporadically and in the processed killed a middle-aged man who was passing by.”
The SARS operatives were led by Mohammed Akeem, a police inspector.
Mr Elkana said following the ambush, a police reinforcement was quickly drafted to the scene.
“The whole area is cordoned with a view of apprehending the members of the gang and bring them to justice.
“Ilupeju has experienced violent attacks between members of Aiye and Eiye confraternities who equally engaged in heinous crimes such as armed robbery, rape, and murder.
“The gang in question is responsible for a series of robberies within Ilupeju and environ. They have been on the wanted list of the police for the murder of six persons during three robbery operations that they carried out.”
The corpse of the victim has been deposited at the mortuary for a post-mortem examination, the police said.
Mr Elkana said the command would not tolerate attacks on its personnel and “senseless killings of innocent citizens by criminal elements.”
He said the command is committed to bringing an end to the activities of the gang and has intensified patrols and surveillance in the affected areas.