Alert in Timis County. Monday morning the searches for the man who shot a policeman and injured another have been resumed. 47-year-old Ionel Marcel Lepa was under international warrant for robbery when he opened fire on two police officers in Recaş, Timis County. Now he is wanted for homicide.
“He ran, went to the neighbour … took the keys from a car, desperately hit a fence, left the car, took a second car, hit a pole, left it and ran,” a witness said, digi24.ro reports.
“This event says a lot about the poor equipment of the police, end-of-life vehicles, the 50-year-old technique, overtime due to lack of staff,” Cosmin Andreica, president of the Europol trade union said.
The entire Timis County is full of policemen looking for the murderer.
A MAI helicopter, a high-performance drones, thermal imaging devices and specially trained dogs are at the site. The policemen searched for the suspect late in the night and the searches have resumed Monday morning.
Additional forces from Bucharest, Arad and Caras-Severin arrived in Timis to join the search for Ionel Marcel Lepa.
Witnesses say that the suspect is injured in the shoulder as another agent tried to catch him.
The murdered cop was 43 years old and has been in the police for two decades, was married and had two children.
President Iohannis – message of condolences
President Klaus Iohannis has sent a condolence message. “The President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, deeply regrets the tragic incident on Sunday, June 2, in Timis County, in which a Romanian policeman lost his life because of shooting injuries.
President Klaus Iohannis conveys the condolences to the grieving family and is fully confident that the competent bodies will make every effort so that the criminal is urgently caught and brought to justice. The President’s thoughts are with all those who put their lives at risk during the missions they have to accomplish in order to be in the service of the citizens of Romania,” the Presidential Administration informs in a press release.
Minister Dan: Such tragedies do happen
Interior Minister, Carmen Dan, has stated after the policeman’s death that there had been a draft law that stipulated the reinforcement of the policeman’s authority, which had been adopted by the Parliament, but which had never been in force for it has been challenged to the Constitutional Court.
The minister conveyed her condolences to the family and fellows of the killed police officer.
“It is a terrible event for us, but, fortunately, we have not been facing too often such events. Criminality in our country has not been so violent, but these tragedies do happen. My colleagues are mobilized down to the last to catch the criminal”, Carmen Dan told Antena 3.
Criticism against Interior Minister over the tragic death
The Policemen Trade Union has deplored their colleague’s death, blaming Interior Minister Carmen Dan for incompetence and for not honoring pledges for better equipping the police squads.
“More and more colleagues are coming to express their condolences to our fellow from the Timis Police Inspectorate who has died on the job over Carmen Dan’s incompetence. How many more do you want to count, Mrs. Minister, until you understand that it cannot go like this anymore”, reads the police trade union’s message.
Europol, the Union of European Police Officers, has sent a critical message to Interior Minister Carmen Dan.
Traian Berbeceanu, former head of the Alba Iulia Organized Crime Brigade, has posted a tough message to his Facebook page, addressed to Interior Minister, Carmen Dan, after the murder of the policeman in Timis. Traian Berbeceanu pointed out that the deceased policeman had no protective equipment during the mission and that he had a non-performing gun.
In his turn, Marian Godina, the former traffic policeman from Brasov, whose reactionary Facebook posts have become viral in the past years, has also taken a tough stand against the Interior Minister, asking for her resignation.
Currently officer of the Special Activities Division (SAS), Godina has asked for Carmen Dan’s resignation, reproaching to her the necessary equipment in Police. “I wonder, is the life of a policeman ever worth less than bulletproof jacket among the long promised ones?” Godina asked.
“Mrs. Minister, I am taking the liberty to ask you, what have you done for this ministry since you are at its helm? I know you have attended several funerals of policemen and you used to say after every funeral that you will change something (…) How come a policeman in the street in 2019 was wearing corduroys, shoes and a gun dating back in the 70s? These are remainders of the former regime, when the communist policeman was never forced to run after anyone and nobody would fire back. Despite all his training, such a policeman has no change in front of any armed criminal,” Godina says in a post on his blog.