Uganda: Policeman Shoots Pastor, Kills Self

Kampala, Uganda - A policeman at the weekend shot dead a pastor of a Pentecostal church and critically injured a bishop in Nakapiripirit district before turning the gun on himself.

Julius Atuhairwe, attached to Tokora Police Post on the Mbale- Nakapiripirit road, reportedly opened fire on Pastor Eric Barasa of Amudat Pentecostal Assemblies of God church at 11:00am moments after being granted a pass leave.

The attack injured bishop George Omara, the head of churches in Karamoja sub-region.

Atuhairwe then shot himself in the chin and died instantly. The north-eastern regional Police chief, Okot Obwona, said the reason for the attack remains unclear.

"We cannot tell why Atuhairwe shot at the two people randomly," he said.

"After receiving permission, he went to the barracks, picked his gun and on getting to the town council, he shot the pastor and the bishop."

Obwona appealed to Police officers confide in their supervisors when they have problems so as to avert such incidents. "I also request that when you come across a colleague with problems, inform us about it in time. "

Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba yesterday said Omara had been admitted to Matany Hospital in Moroto district while the bodies of Barasa and Atuhairwe were taken for postmortem examination.

Witnesses said they saw Atuhairwe raise his gun and open fire on the duo without saying a word.

"We got shocked when we saw people falling down before we scampered for our dear lives," a witness said.

Pastor Robert Olupot of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God Church in Moroto said Omara was in Nakapiripirit for a leadership training.

"It is unfortunate that when Barasa went to receive Omara, they met the frustrated Police officer who showered them with bullets," he said.