The police in Anambra state on Sunday confirmed that only one gunman killed eight worshippers and injured 18 others in an early morning attack on St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
Earlier reports had said the killings were done by gunmen, with rumours that some Boko Haram elements carried out the attack.
The Commissioner of Police, Mr Garba Umar dismissed the rumour and said the attack was carried out by a lone wolf gunman, who is an indigene of the area.
Umar told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka that the remains of the dead had been deposited at Nnamdi Azikwe University Teaching Hospital Nnewi.
Umar also said that the injured had been taken to the hospital.
He said that preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the attack was carried out by an indigene of the area.
“From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.
“We gathered that worshippers for 6 o’clock Sunday mass at St. Philip Ozobulu were in the service when a gunman dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.
“The man after shooting at his targeted victims still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers,’’ he said.
The commissioner said information available to police showed that the attacker was speaking undiluted Igbo Language at the time he was firing at worshippers.
Umar said though no arrest had been made and the police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.
Describing the act as sacrilegious, the commissioner of police said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.
He added: “such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God.’’
He said the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the act and gave an assurance that everybody behind the act would be brought to justice, adding that the police were on top of the situation.
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