OTJIWARONGO: A 32-year-old member of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) was shot dead by two unknown armed thugs here on Saturday evening.
Namibian Police Force (NamPol) Otjozondjupa Regional Crime Investigations’ Coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb confirmed the shooting to Nampa on Sunday morning.
Khairabeb said the deceased, Epafras Joy de Celestino, was walking alone in the D. Useb Street behind the People’s Corner Complex in the Orwetoveni residential area at about 22h10, when two armed men demanded to search his pockets.
“It seems de Celestino refused to be searched, which led to one of the robbers pulling out a pistol and shooting him twice at close range,” noted Khairabeb.
He was shot in the chest and on his right arm, and died on the spot.
No arrest has yet been made, and police investigations continue.
Family members of the deceased have been already informed, said Khairabeb.
Meanwhile, 61-year-old woman, Getrude Doeses, claims to have seen through her window how de Celestino was murdered.
She told Nampa in an exclusive interview on Sunday that she heard some noise of people running, and saw how they all suddenly stopped under a tree next to her house.
Doeses then saw two unknown men wrestling with another man, presumably de Celestino, forcing him to the ground and searching his pockets.
“But he resisted,” she said.
One of the men continued to forcefully search the victim, while his accomplice went to the side street to check if anyone was coming towards them.
“I shouted for the robbers to let him go. That man who returned to the scene, is the one who pulled out a rifle and shoot de Celestino twice at very close range,” said the eye witness.
“The young man (de Celestino) went down slowly, sat on the edge of the road and finally fell down on his right side and lost his soul,” she explained.
Commander of the NDF Otjiwarongo Army Base, Major Simson Shintama said de Celestino was a permanent corporal officer at the Rooikop NDF Military Base in Walvis Bay in the Erongo Region.
He was attached to Otjiwarongo army base three years ago to study mechanics at a mechanical institution here, said Shintama.
De Celestino was born is Rupara in the Kavango Region.