Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou yesterday ordered two internal inquiries over the circumstances in which a Paphos youngster was shot by Z-Squad police during a car chase.
A 20-year-old from Kissonerga village walked into Paphos General Hospital yesterday with a bullet wound to his shoulder. He told doctors that he had been shot by police during a high-speed chase on Monday night.
All the officers that were involved in the incident are to be temporarily placed on suspension until the inquiry is finished.
“The first inquiry will look into establishing the events of the incident and what prompted the use of the firearm while a separate disciplinary inquiry will be launched to look into why some officers failed to inform their superiors that they had fired their weapons,” said deputy police spokesperson Nikoleta Tyrimou yesterday.
Tyrimou said the incident took place in the Potimon area connecting the villages of Kissonerga and Peyia.
“The patient had told investigators that he was a passenger in a car being driven by a 22-year-old and that they didn’t stop when flagged down by the Z-Squad officers. The officers gave them a chance and then shot against them five times with one of the bullets going through the windshield and injuring him in the shoulder.”
The officers in question had been conducting random traffic inspections on Ayios Georgiou Avenue in Peyia when they spotted a car without registration plates coming towards them.
The driver did a u-turn upon seeing them and instead headed off down a country road. Finding his actions suspicious, the officers gave chance and the driver of the vehicle, according to police, drove erratically threatening the lives of the officers.
It was then, the police later claimed, that shots were fired in the direction of the tyres but the driver managed to escape. The car was later found abandoned in a field.
Ballistics showed a bullet had indeed entered via the back windshield and exited the front windshield on the front passenger’s side.
According to doctors, the patient was treated for a bullet wound and underwent surgery. His condition is said to be stable.
The driver, who told investigators that he didn’t stop because he had drugs in his car, was later located but a third youth that was in the car –said to be age 20 – who is still to be found.