Shooting Caused pandemonium in Monrovia
By Our Monrovia Correspondent
October 14, 2002
On Saturday, October 12, 2002, there was a soccer match between Liberia and Niger at the Samuel K. Doe (SKD) Sports complex, which ended with one nil in favor of Liberia. People had left the field en route to our respective homes when they heard a burst of gun fire from the ELWA junction. "The vehicle that I was in was very close to the stadium with lots of people walking on foot. The shooting caused such a pandemonium that people began to run into the swamp in all directions. My friend who gave me lift did not know what to do because the vehicles were just bumper to bumper. We abandoned the vehicle and ran to an unfinished building for safety. After 15 minutes or so, we rushed back in the vehicle and drove towards the Robertsfield highway where we were up until 8:30 pm.," a frightened spectator explained. The game was over around 6:30 pm.
The information that I gathered regarding the shooting is that one notorious Col. Jerbo, an assistant director of police for operations was the one who gave order for an Special Security Service (SSS) officer to be disrobed at the ELWA junction. The other security personnel of the SSS along with the ATU refused for the SSS officer to be disrobed. That was the cause of the shooting. Can you imagine people coming from a soccer field in their numbers and a group of trigger happy hoodlums opening fire in their midst. It is yet hard to determine the number of people who got wounded or perhaps killed.
Taylor was somewhere in the central Monrovia when he heard the sound of the shooting. He is said to have fled to Bushrod Island thinking it was the Ivorian type of shoot out. We are yet waiting for more detail. One thing that is certain is that as long as guns are in the hands of people who do not value human lives, this sort of thing will continue to take place. Jerbo is noted for engaging in those type of lawlessness. At the end of the day, he is one of the fellows around that Taylor loves. That is the same way he (Taylor) treats someone like Bedell Fahn whose bad behavior was manifested in him ordering rebels to beat everyone in his home town in Margibi county during the civil crisis.