The gunmen were said to have trailed their victims, who were in a commercial tricycle, to Upper New Market Road, where they opened fire on them, killing one on the spot while another sustained serious injuries.
Eyewitnesses said the assailants sped off immediately they hit their victims without collecting anything from them.
“Maybe because policemen from Central Police Station were coming after them, but the only thing I know is that the other man that died was shot at a close range and he died instantly,” a source said.
However, the Divisional Police Officer in charge of the Central Police Station in Onitsha, Mr. Tope Fasugba, led a team of policemen to the scene of the shooting and gave the suspects a chase but failed to apprehend them.
Fasugba said his men could not shoot at the fleeing gunmen in order to avoid a situation where innocent persons could be hit by stray bullets.
“Our hands were tied because Onitsha is highly populated and innocent people could be hurt. That was why they escaped when we went after them. They moved faster with the help of commercial motorcycles and were able to escape. But we shall get them,” he said.
The DPO said the motive for the killing was yet unknown, adding that the police would be on their trail.
He said the injured victim of the attack was taken to a hospital for treatment, while the body of the deceased was deposited at a mortuary.