A police officer in Bloemfontein was arrested after he allegedly discharged his firearm while under the influence of alcohol during the early hours of Sunday.
According to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the police received a shooting complaint near an Adult World in the Bloemfontein CBD in the Free State.
“The VW was driving from the crime scene, but it was stopped,” IPID spokesperson Grace Langa said.
“The suspect was instructed to get out of the vehicle, and his firearm was confiscated inside the vehicle. The suspect was identified as a police officer from Parkweg police station.”
Langa added the police officer said the person who fired the shots was inside a building.
However, upon inspection of his service pistol, the magazine had 12 rounds instead of a full clip of 15.
The suspect then allegedly told police officers someone had robbed him of his cellphone and the robber had gone into the building.
“The police officers went inside the building to search for the cellphone, which was found unattended near the door,” Langa said.
Nobody was injured during the shooting, she added.
Following the shooting, IPID investigators visited the crime scene, where a private security officer told them the suspect had fired three shots.
The police officer told the investigators he had only fired one shot.
The police officer was arrested and charged with illegally discharging a firearm, using a firearm while under the influence of alcohol and defeating the ends of justice.
He is expected to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
In an unrelated incident, IPID is also investigating a death as a result of police action after a police officer shot and killed an unknown person in Ekuvukeni, KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday night.
According to Langa, the police officer had received information about a rape suspect who was at a particular tavern.
“He then proceeded to that area, and when he got there, the members of the community started assaulting him and throwing bottles at him, saying that they don’t drink liquor with policemen,” she said.