A search was being conducted for a suspect in Somalia after a presidential guard turned his gun on a colleague Saturday, killing the senior official and wounding a second person inside the presidential compound, witnesses and authorities said.
Shador Haji, the Presidential Palace communications director, confirmed the killing late Saturday.
The dead official was identified as Colonel Abdirahman Abdulle Qorgab. He was the deputy commander of security forces at the compound in the capital, Mogadishu.
Witnesses said the soldier fired multiple shots after the exchange of gunfire that killed the officer at the scene and wounded a second officer. The condition of the wounded officer is not known.
The shooting suspect escaped, said Haji, who added it was an act of insubordination after the officer who was shot told the suspect to “put down the gun and go to prison.” Details of the incident have not been released pending an investigation but authorities had earlier said the suspected shooter was in custody.
A security official who asked not to be named said the shooting happened inside the compound of the presidential residence, known as Villa Somalia.
“One of the presidential guards opened fire on the official,” he said.
This is the first insider shooting incident at Somalia’s heavily fortified presidential compound. In 2014, al-Shabab militants stormed the facility with car bombs and suicide attackers, and since, has frequently hurled mortars in its direction.