A stray bullet fired by operatives of the police attached to Nembe Police Station in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, on Thursday hit and killed a man believed to be a trader at a nearby market.
The middle-aged victim, popularly known as Owus, was hit on the head and he died on the spot, Punch reports.
Eyewitnesses say pandemonium broke out after the arrest of two Hausa men angered some youths, and gunshots were fired in the ensuing confrontation with the police in a bid to get them released.
“The police arrested two Hausa guys caught smoking Indian hemp and took them to the station but some of their Hausa brothers confronted the officers with bottles and sticks, insisting that they must be released,” a local resident, identified simply as Uchenna, said.
“The situation led to the policemen releasing some gunshots which hit one of the Hausa guys in the left arm and the late Owus in the head, killing him in the process.
“Others that were running away for safety sustained various degrees of injuries. Although the dead man had been taken to the mortuary, everyone is still in shock.”
Nembe Market had been shut down while soldiers and policemen had taken over strategic locations around the place to prevent further breakdown of law and order.