Corporal Geoffrey Okello, a Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldier has been arrested in relation to a shooting which claimed three lives in Gulu town on Monday evening.
Okello was arrested in the wee hours of Tuesday and is now detained at the 4th Division barracks in Gulu. Okello is accused of gunning down 52-year-old Beatrice Ajok, and her two sons; Dan Joakim Binyang aged 18, a senior six student at St. Pope John Paul II SS, and Owen Norman, 20. An 8-year-old child was also injured in the incident which happened at around 8:30 pm in Vanguard sub ward, Pece Division in Gulu Municipality.
Some of the eyewitnesses told URN that after the shooting, the suspect was seen fleeing the scene on a motorcycle to an unknown destination. It’s alleged that the suspect and the deceased's family had prolonged land wangles. He reportedly severally accused Ajok of grazing goats on his land.
Maj Caesar Olweny, the UPDF 4th Division spokesperson says that Okello was arrested from Central Guard at the barracks where he had been deployed. Olweny told URN in an interview on Tuesday morning that ballistic experts were yet to examine the gun that was used by the suspect because the soldier’s ammunition was found intact.
Aswa River region police spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema told URN that the bodies of the deceased were still at Gulu regional referral hospital mortuary pending postmortem as investigations continue.
In 2018 Lance Corporal Geoffrey Odaga shot dead three people at a local bar in Kabedo-Opong trading centre in Bardege Division. He was tracked down, arrested and later court-martialed to 40 years in prison.
Similarly, in 2015, Lance Corporal Kennedy Okumu, 40, attached to the 29th Battalion was sentenced by UPDF 4th Division Court Martial to 45 years in prison for shooting dead a barmaid over Shs 1,000.