Seven people died in Orji, Owerri North LGA on Thursday as the Imo police engaged gun-toting hoodlums, who had shot indiscriminately on people, after blocking the flyover bridge.
The gunmen killed three people before the police arrived.
In turn, the police killed four of the hoodlums, with the rest fleeing the scene, some with gunshot wounds.
Commissioner of police Mr Abutu Yaro, said peace has been restored following the shootout.
Yaro said in a statement issued in Owerri on Friday by police spokesman, SP Bala Elkana that four hoodlums were fatally injured, but others fled during the gun battle.
He said the police were on the trail of those who escaped from the gun battle.
“Peace has been restored in Orji area by a combined team of the police and those of other supporting security agencies.
“Three persons were killed by the gunmen who blocked Orji Flyover and started shooting at people. Cause of the shooting is still not clear; investigation has however, commenced,’’ he stated.
Elkana added that Special Forces intercepted the gang on the Orji Flyover riding in a blue Toyota Hilux van and a white bus.
He stated that the gun battle between the police and the hoodlums lasted for about 40 minutes before the latter bowed to superior fire power.
“The peace loving people of Imo should continue to support the police with credible information on the movements and activities of criminal gangs in their neighbourhoods.
“Together we can continue to keep Imo safe,’’ the commissioner was quoted as saying.