(JollofNews)– Authorities in the Gambia have launched an investigation into the shooting of a 27-year-old volunteer of the Gambia Red Cross Society by armed soldiers on Saturday night.
Ya Binta Jarju, 27, of Banjul, who also works as a cashier at Comfort Neon Sign, was killed after a local taxi she hired with her boyfriend, was fired upon by soldiers manning a security checkpoint in Manjai.
A statement by the Gambia Police Force (GPF) described the incident as regrettable but said the taxi was shot at after it had refused to stop at a military checkpoint.
“The driver came to the checkpoint but refused to heed to the stop signal and sped off,” said police spokesman ASP David Kujabi.
He added: “A warning shot was fired, but the driver kept on driving at top speed. This being a sure suspicious behaviour, the security officers pursued the fleeing driver and fired a second warning shot which the driver failed to heed again and led officers on a wild chase. They eventually overtook the taxi and braked in front to force it to stop, but the driver swerved taking a quick turn and drove through a narrow road nearby. The officers then shot at the car in order to force a stop, but the bullet instead hit a lady who was sitting at the backseat of the taxi leading to her death.”
The whereabouts of the driver who is identified as Tapha Gaye are unknown, but newspaper reports said he was arrested after the shooting together with Ya Binta’s boyfriend and are helping the authorities with their investigations.
Meanwhile Ya Binta’s colleagues at Banjul Red Cross have paid poignant tribute to her describing her as someone who served humanity and did a great job for the Gambia.
A statement on the branch’s Facebook page said: “She comes from a good family, which have confidence in her and gave her to Banjul Branch Activities and she did a lot and I just want to say that we will really miss you because you have been there for humanity and you left us so soon when you have been doing a great job for the nation and we are really proud of you. I know for certain that we never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having people like you Ya Binta Jarju.”