SWEET Pub, a drinking spot at Danyame, a suburb of Kumasi, witnessed a bloody night on Sunday, when a gang of suspected criminals carried out the brutal murder of a policeman in retaliation for the killing of one of their members.
Constable Frank William Blankson of the Police Striking Force in Kumasi had shot and killed a young man whom he suspected to be an armed robber and little did he know the group would react with an even greater force.
They pounced on the policeman, hit him with stones and cement blocks before using his official AK 47 assault rifle to fire through his midsection, killing him instantly.
The gangsters then left the rifle behind and fled in waiting vehicles and on motorbikes.
The police have rounded up seven suspects to assist in investigations while a search has been mounted for other suspects.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr Paul Tawiah Quaye, accompanied by DCOP John Kudalor, the Director General (Operations), DCOP Patrick Timbillah, the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, and ACP Kwasi Mensah Duku, the Deputy Regional Commander, visited the crime scene yesterday.
Even though it rained in the night, bloodstains were found all over the place and the IGP shook his head in apparent disbelief when Mr Timbillah pointed the exact spot where the Constable finally fell.
The Regional Commander said the police found a bullet at the place but said it was not an AK 47 bullet.
Mr Quaye and his entourage later moved to the morgue at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital to have a look at the remains of the fallen policeman.
Many people in Kumasi had raised questions as to why the police should ensure security at a drinking spot when there were other serious security concerns in the metropolis.
There have been some conflicting accounts about the incident. While eyewitnesses said Constable Blankson was officially assigned to the drinking spot in the night, the police maintained that he was on foot patrols.
DCOP Timbillah said the deceased was detailed with two others to patrol the road in the area because a number of judges and other high-ranking officials lived in the area.
However, eyewitnesses said the policeman was on duty at the drinking joint. In fact they maintained that that was not the first time a policeman was on duty there.
An eyewitness said at about 10:30 pm, the men, using unlicensed motorbikes, parked at a place which the policeman found unsafe.
Consequently, he asked them to move the motorbikes away but they refused, resulting in fierce exchange of words.
In the heat of the confusion, Constable Blankson fired at one of them as he tried to speed off.
The witnesses said other members of the gang picked up the injured member into a taxi and drove off to hospital but the man died on the way.
Unknown to the deceased, the gang had gone to mobilise more men, who pounced on him, demobilised him of his gun and pounded him with all manner of objects.
Having become very weak, one of the gang members used the police rifle to fire at the hapless policeman, killing him on the spot.
The IGP condemned the act by the gang and said every effort should be made to arrest them.
“Elsewhere it is a crime to assault a policemen let alone kill him. This act must be condemned and we will get to the bottom of it,” he assured.
Mr Quaye expressed concern about the growing acts of radicalism, fanaticism and hooliganism in the country and said the police would have to take a second look at their operational methods to face up to the challenges.