Man injured after exchange of gunfire with police during Tongatapu drug bust

    A man has been hospitalised with critical injuries after an exchange of gunfire with police during a drugs raid in Tongatapu yesterday.

    Illicit drugs and handgun seized by police at the scene. Photo/Supplied

    Police arrested three people at around 1am on Sunday, September 12. They were a 17 and a 50 year-old men from Poutaha and a 47 year old man from Kolonga but residing at
    Hala’ovave.

    The three were traveling east in a rental car on Hihifo Road when Police stopped them for breaching the curfew restriction.

    Upon search, the 47-year-old man was found in possession of 8.92 grams of cocaine, Detective Acting Deputy Commissioner HalatoaTāufa said.

    During the search of his residence at Hala’ovave, a 32 year old male suspect used a
    .22 handgun revolver to point and shoot at Police but missed, which caused Police,
    in defence to shoot the suspect on his left arm, causing the suspect to surrender the
    gun and himself, Tāufa said.

    The suspect sustained injuries to his left arm and ribcage. He was rushed by Police to Vaiola Hospital where he remains  in a stable condition.

    Further drugs were seized from the residence including 1.67 grams of methamphetamine and 1.38 grams of cannabis. Also seized were drug utensils and 1 x .22 handgun revolver, 40 x .22 and 1 x 9mm bullets and 12 (.22) empty cartridges.

    A 24 year old female was arrested during the raid.

    “Our ultimate responsibility is to protect life – the life of our people as well as that of
    our police officers. The life of the officers in this police operation was under threat
    which called for the use of necessary force to eliminate such threat.”

    “For the safety of the public, we urge for the return to Police of illegal firearms. It
    would not be wise to use a firearm to threaten any person or police officers as there
    will be consequences as we have witnessed from this police operation.”

    Contact Police on phone 740-1660 or 922 if you have any information on any drug
    related activity or illegal firearms.

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