He was named by the owner of the vehicle, a 57 year old HR Manager now remanded in custody of picking up the vehicle which was later used in the Lae International Hotel robbery.
According to Lae police Boss, Anthony Wagambie Jnr, around 8pm on Saturday night, police moved into the area on foot and surround him and a group of friends who were consuming alcohol at a field.
“The suspect (Junior Panta) from a mix parentage of East New Britain and AROB was apprehended by police and locked up in police cells”.
On the same night, after police interrogated the suspect, police moved into West Taraka where it was reported that some prime suspects were armed and walking around Gantom Street area.
Police moved into the area on foot of which they came across four men standing on the street.
“Police flashed the torch in their direction and upon realising that it was police, the suspects fired two shots from what was a factory made Smith & Wesson, 38 pistol.”
Police were alert as they had received information that the suspects were armed and immediately returned fire, shooting dead the armed offender.
Two of his accomplices were also shot in the lower part of their body injuring them on their legs.
The factory made pistol in the procession of the deceased was recovered.
“It had five rounds in it, two empty shells and three live rounds. The two empty shells were from when he fired at the police.”
The fourth suspect was armed with a shot gun.
The deceased from Wantoat in the Morobe Province has been wanted for string of robberies both recently and previously.
“One of the other armed a suspect who was in their company escaped with a factory made pistol grip shot gun and police are currently looking into his whereabouts in the surrounding areas,” said Metropolitan Superintendent Wagambie Jnr.
(Picture caption: The factory made pistol recovered by Omili Police)