Violence nearly erupted in Chitungwiza yesterday after a police sergeant who reportedly shot and killed his wife, a fellow police officer, at their home in Unit F, Seke, was brought for indications at the crime scene where relatives and friends wanted to attack him.
The motive behind the murder case was yesterday still not known and some neighbours said they were not aware of any history of misunderstandings between the two.
Sergeant Tichaona Chirinhe (38) — based at Crime Prevention Unit of Harare Central Police Station — allegedly killed his wife Julian Chirinhe (37), who was also a Sgt in the traffic section on Sunday morning in their bedroom.
She was taken to a nearby clinic in Chitungwiza before being transferred to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where she was pronounced dead on arrival.
A neighbour who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “We are not aware of any misunderstanding between the two, but we were shocked about this sad incident. It is our hope that the police will get to the bottom of the matter so that the law will take its course.”
Another neighbour said he only heard a gunshot coming out from the couple’s house. “There was no quarrelling between these two, and I was shocked to discover that he had allegedly shot and seriously injured his wife before learning that the wife had passed on a few hours later,” he said.
Sgt Tichaona Chirinhe was yesterday afternoon escorted in handcuffs by detectives from the CID Homicide to his matrimonial home in Unit F, where his wife was shot.
A team from the CID Forensics and Ballistics Unit which is a highly specialised technical unit of the ZRP that assists police investigations through analysing exhibits and giving expert evidence on crime scenes, also attended the scene.
After Sgt Tichaona Chirinhe arrived at the house, relatives and friends demanded the police to release him so that they could mete justice. No one was injured as police managed to calm the situation.
One of Sgt Julian Chirinhe’s brothers identified as Tongai could be heard crying and shouting that they wanted to beat up Tichaona for killing their sister.
Some of the relatives, however, restrained him and told him that he should let the police do their work.
The Herald witnessed the suspect indicating to the police how the incident occurred before he was escorted back to Harare Central Police Station in an unmarked police vehicle.
He is still assisting police with investigations, but must appear in court soon while investigation continue.
Investigations have so far revealed that on Sunday at around 11am, an informant, Ms Clementineshe Sibanda who was on her way home from work at Chitungwiza Police Station met Sgt Julian Chirinhe’s neighbour and friend Ms Eunice Chiufama who informed her that Sgt Julian Chirinhe had been shot by her husband.
Ms Sibanda went to the scene and found Julian lying on the floor bleeding and vomiting.
She then contacted her superior identified as Inspector Christopher Tsuro of ZRP Chitungwiza Traffic. Ms Sibanda, Inspector Tsuro and two police officers then rushed Sgt Julian to a nearby clinic before they were transferred to Parirenyatwa hospital where she was taken to the resuscitation room.
She died around 2.20pm and the body is at Parirenyatwa Hospital mortuary awaiting post-mortem.
Sources close to the investigations said the two had been married since 2006 and they had two children, aged 14 and seven.
According to a report made to the police, the neighbour, Ms Chiufama said that she was at her residence when she was approached by the suspect who was crying alleging that he had accidentally shot his wife and he wanted to be taken to the police station.
The couple’s 14-year-old daughter said on the day, the two had been on night duty and that her mother was the first one to arrive home at around 9am before she went out to pick up her husband at around 10.30am.
When the shooting occurred, the daughter was in the sitting room. When she heard a gunshot coming from the bedroom, she rushed to investigate.
It is alleged that she then found her father crying, saying that he had accidentally shot her mother as he was securing his firearm.
Sgt Julian Chirinhe was shot on the right part of her abdomen and the bullet exited through the left part of the abdomen.
Inspector Tsuro disarmed Sgt Tichaona Chirinhe of his service firearm, a PI pistol, before arresting him. When he was searched, he was allegedly found with a 9mm spent cartridge and seven 9mm live rounds which were in his trousers back pocket.
Investigations have so far revealed that he was issued with the firearm on Christmas Day for night duties, with a magazine loaded with eight rounds.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations were still in progress.
“We would want to reiterate that the police do not condone any acts of abuse of service pistols as well as equipment by members and in this case the law will take its course,” he said.
Sgt Julian Chirinhe had been promoted early this month.