Police in Kitwe Monday morning fought running battles with Buchi residents after one officer shot dead a car washer.

The car wash in question which is located along the Kazembe road in Buchi uses water from the Nkana Water and Sewerage Company (NWSC) pipes.

But NWSC disconnect the water due to unpaid bills, a move which the car wash workers resisted.

Noticing the resistance from the car washers, the utility workers called in police security, but a confrontation ensued after the two parties failed to resolve the matter, forcing the the car washers to start charging towards the police officers in numbers.

In the process, one police officer fired at a charging car washer, killing him instantly.

Later, the residents gathered and charged towards the police who scampered for their safety.

The residents then blocked Kazembe road with burning tyres and other objects while stoning vehicles.

Police then returned with reinforcement in full riot gear and fired tear gas canisters to disperse rioting residents.

When contacted, Copperbelt police commissioner Charity Katanga said: “Yes, there are riots in Buchi. The residents are rioting over a shooting incident. Am rushing there and will give full details later.”

Meanwhile, police have deployed officers in Buchi township to stop any further protests.