Safrin La Batu and Nani Afrida, Jakarta – A police officer from the East Jakarta Police was shot in the thigh on Tuesday night after he and three of his friends exchanged gunfire with an officer from the Navy's Military Police (Pomal) at Taman Mini Indonesia Indah in Cipayung, East Jakarta. The incident occurred due to a misunderstanding.
A police report showed the incident occurred at 8:30 p.m. when the four police officers, who were operating undercover at the time, were about to arrest a drug suspect identified as Edi Aziz. A suspicious car, driven by the Navy officer, suddenly accelerated and was about to leave the scene.
The officers, who thought the man in the car was the suspect's friend, tried to stop the car and the Navy officer came out with a gun. First Brig. Umar Seno Aji took out his gun and introduced himself as a police officer and gave two warning shots. The Navy officer opened fire at Umar, and shot Umar in the thigh.
The other three officers briefly exchanged gunfire before learning that the man in the car was a Navy officer. Umar was rushed to the National Police hospital in Kramat Jati, East Jakarta.
Jakarta Police chief Insp. Gen. Tito Karnavian said the police were currently coordinating with Pomal to investigate whether or not the incident had occurred due to a specific issue or merely from a failure to communicate.
Tito, however, said he believed it was just a matter of miscommunication. "This just a miscommunication. The Navy officer was wearing plain clothes too," he told reporters on Wednesday.
East Jakarta Police chief Sr. Comr. Muhammad Agung Budijono said the Navy officer was not connected to the suspect, saying that it was just a coincidence that he was about to leave the area when the arrest took place.
"It was a coincidence that he was at the location. He was about to go home after buying cigarettes and drinking coffee. He lives nearby," he said.
The Indonesian Navy's Western Fleet (Armabar) spokesperson Let. Col. Ariris Miftachurrahman confirmed Wednesday that one of his personnel had been involved in the clash and that Pomal had questioned the member.
"The officer involved was Capt. Eko Wuryanto, a member of Armabar's intelligence division. The clash was due to miscommunication because both the police and TNI personnel wore civilian attire," Ariris said.
Based on the information from Armabar, Eko parked his car in the area to have same coffee and smoke a cigarette at a small kiosk when the arrest occurred. After he finished his coffee and returned to his car, a man opened his car door and yelled at him and Eko yelled back.
Eko saw several armed men, and decided to use his pistol. The clash happened as Eko and the men shot at each other. After several minutes, the group of armed men introduced themselves as police officers, and Eko also introduced himself as a member of the military.