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Nuku’alofa – September 15, 2021: 1.20pm (Matangi Tonga): A 32 year old man was shot in the arm by Police, after he allegedly used a .22 handgun to point and shoot at Police, during the raid of a suspect’s home at Hala’ovave, Tongatapu, early Sunday morning.

The 32 year old suspect sustained injuries to his left arm and ribcage. There were five arrests relating to possession of illegal drugs and firearms.

Detective Acting Deputy Commissioner Halatoa Taufa  said the injured suspect was rushed by Police to Vaiola Hospital where he remained for treatment. “According to information from the doctor, he is at a stable stage,” he said.

“Our ultimate responsibility is to protect life – the life of our people as well as that of our police officers. The life of the officers in this police operation was under threat, which called for the use of necessary force to eliminate such threat.”

“For the safety of the public, we urge for the return to Police of illegal firearms. It would not be wise to use a firearm to threaten any person or police officers as there will be consequences, as we have witnessed from this police operation,” he warned

Arrests

Tonga Police arrested three people at around 1:00 am on Sunday, 12 September. They were a 17 year old youth and 50 year old man from Poutaha, and a 47 year old man from Kolonga who was residing at Hala’ovave.

Det. A/D Com Taufa. said that the three were traveling east in a rental car on Hihifo Road when Police stopped them for breaching the curfew restriction.

“Upon search, 8.92 grams of cocaine was found on the person of the 47 year old male suspect,” the Police alleged.

He said a search by the Police Drugs Enforcement Taskforce was carried out at around 6:00 am on the 47 year old’s residence at Hala’ovave following the arrest.

“During the search of the residence at Hala’ovave, a 32 year old male suspect used a .22 handgun revolver to point and shoot at Police but missed, which caused Police, in defence to shoot the suspect on his left arm, causing the suspect to surrender the gun and himself,” he said.

Further drugs were seized from the residence including an alleged 1.67 grams of methamphetamine and 1.38 grams of cannabis. Also seized were drug utensils and 1 x .22 handgun revolver, 40 x .22 and 1 x 9mm bullets and 12 (.22) empty cartridges.

Two suspects were arrested as a result, a 32 year old male and a 24 year old female.

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