The Anambra State Police Command on Sunday confirmed that a gunman killed eight worshippers and injured 18 others in an early morning attack on St. Philip Catholic Church, Ozubulu, Ekwusigo Local Government Area.
Mr Garba Umar, the State Commissioner of Police, said the remains of the dead had been deposited at Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital in Nnewi, while the injured have been taken to hospital.
The commissioner further said investigations showed that the attack was executed by a native.
He said: “From our findings, it is very clear that the person who carried the attack must be an indigene of the area.
“We gathered that worshippers for 6 o’clock Sunday mass at St. Philip Ozobulu were in the service when a gunman dressed in black attire covering his face with a cap entered the church and moved straight to a particular direction and opened fire.
“The man after shooting at his targeted victims still went on a shooting spree, killing and wounding other worshippers.”
Umar also said information available to the police showed that the attacker was speaking Igbo at the time he was firing at worshippers.
He said though no arrest had been made, the police already learnt that the attack followed a quarrel between two natives of Ozubulu residing overseas.
Describing the act as sacrilegious, the commissioner of police said it was wrong for the perpetrators of the act to extend their quarrel into the church.
He added: “Such conduct shows the people behind the act do not fear God.’’
He said the police had launched a manhunt on those behind the act and gave an assurance that everybody behind the act would be brought to justice.
The commissioner further described any insinuation that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram elements as false and urged the people to go about their normal businesses.
He said the police were on top of the situation.’’