Crime & PunishmentLiberia news

EPS officer kills motorcyclist

By: Emmanuel wise Jipoh 

 An agent of the Executive Protection Service (EPS), the elite guards of the Liberian Presidency has shot and killed a man identified as Valentine Teck Johnson. The shooting occurred here on late Sunday, June 3, 2022, near Police Academy Junction in Paynesville.

The EPS Officer has been identified as Patrick Kollie, reportedly assigned with the Managing Director of the National Port Authority (NPA) Bill Tweahway.

The victim, a motorcyclist, was reportedly a resident of Police Academy Community in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.

EPS Officer Patrick Kollie

Eyewitnesses narrate that the late Valentine Johnson was also a student of STARZ College of Science and Technology in Sinkor, Monrovia. He was shot while riding his motorbike towards the route of the Police Academy Junction.

One eyewitness, Philips Martin, narrates those four unidentified men were refreshing at an entertainment center around the Police Academy Junction during midnight hours on Sunday, July 3, 2022, when an alleged white Hyundai Jeep with security lights in front of the bonnet stopped, and the driver called out to two bystanders; for what exactly, Philips couldn’t account.

But he continues that while the two bystanders attempted responding to the driver’s call, one of them noticed that the driver was allegedly pulling out a gun from the side pocket of the car’s door, so he immediately alarmed his three friends and they fled.

According to Philips, the driver of the white Hyundai Jeep then disembarked and allegedly put his gun in readiness and discharged a warning shot in the air which “accidentally” hit Motorcyclist Valentine Teck Johnson, who was heading from inside Police Academy Community in the head, instantly killing him.

The remains of Valentine cover in a UK flag

He adds that two passengers on the bike fell to the ground and sustained minor injuries, while the driver of the Hyundai Jeep, who allegedly discharged the firearm, drove off the scene towards the Police Academy-Boulevard route dubbed as Lover Street at a high speed.

He says Police arrived on the scene thirty minutes later and allegedly found the empty shell of the bullet fired but saw no weapon with Victim Johnson.

Philips continues that the Police then quickly condoned the scene, pending arrival of coroners to commence investigation, saying that few hours later, the Liberia National Police announced that it has arrested an alleged perpetrator, Patrick Kollie.

Following the incident, the Executive Protection Service (EPS) issued a statement Monday, extending condolences to the family of the late Valentine T. Johnson.

The EPS confirms that the late Johnson died because of a shooting incident involving one of its agents, Patrick Kollie.

“The incident reportedly took place on the Police Academy Road during the early hours of July 4, 2022,” said the EPS.

“Upon the order of Director Trokon N. Roberts, Agent Patrick Kollie has, with immediate effect, been disrobed

and turned over to the Liberia National Police for investigation,” it concluded.

When contacted Monday evening, Police spokesman Moses Carter confirmed that the suspect is in police custody.

Carter said the accused is being investigated in connection with the shooting incident.

“He has not spoken to us yet; he has been acquainted with his rights and so we are hopeful of hearing from him … tomorrow,” Carter said.

He explained that the accused had the right to remain silent until his lawyer appears.

Meanwhile, family of the late Valentine Teck Johnson is demanding justice.

An elder brother the deceased, Hence D. Bryan in a press conference described the late Johnson as a humble person and student of the STARZ College in Sinkor.

Bryan expressed frustration and sadness over the incident but called on the Liberian National Police to speed up investigation so that the perpetrator can face justice. Editing by Jonathan Browne

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