Killer KDF soldier was disturbed, family and friends recall

Paul Kiptiony, the father of Haron Tiony the Kenya Defence Force officer who shot and killed three people before turning gun on himself at Jua Kali area in Uasin Gishu County. [Kevin Tunoi/Standard]
A KDF soldier who shot dead three people before committing suicide was a disturbed man, family and friends have said.

Haron Tiony, 38, and a driver attached to Directorate of Military Intelligence, shot dead his uncle Bernard Muge, aunt Rose Sang and KDF officer Dorcas Lorinyo, who was based at the KDF Recruits Training School in Kamagut, Uasin Gishu. He then turned the gun on himself.

The shooting in Jua Kali, Uasin Gishu County happened between 5.20am and 5.30am in two homesteads 3km apart and 20km from Eldoret. He spent over 50 bullets.

Yesterday, Paul Sang said his son Tiony, though polite, was disturbed over a "thorny" issue in the extended family. Mr Sang did not, however, disclose the problem. “We're busy with burial preparations, the issue will be discussed after the funeral".

SEE ALSO :Soldier kills colleague, two relatives, commits suicide

He said he met Tiony at their Ziwa home and the latter said he was off to meet his uncle (Muge) to discuss the matter. “I could not believe it when I heard my son had committed such a crime because he is humble and very hardworking. He gave anything whenever I requested,” said Sang after a meeting at Muge’s home.

Renson Kipruto, Tiony’s friend, said the soldier, who recently returned from Somalia, had claimed he gave Muge and Rose Sh1 million to help their children travel to Australia and Canada with a promise of a parcel of land in return.

“He told me he needed to develop the land he had been promised, but he later complained that the two declined and promised to return the money,” Mr Kipruto claimed.

Kirwa said Tiony told him on Wednesday in Nakuru while traveling to Uasin Gishu, that he had a land matter to sort out.

“I advised him to stop stressing himself over land disputes and instead buy his own because he had money,” said Kirwa.

At the bar in Jua Kali Joan Cherop explained that Tiony arrived at 2am with his cousin Eliud Kiprono. “He was in high spirits. He had parked a Landcruiser van outside the bar and kept sending Kiprono to confirm if the car was properly locked. He is a common patron... On Tuesday he came in drunk,” said Cherop.

She said the man later sent her Sh360 for drinks he ordered before he left at around 3.30am. "He later called me about 3.35am, but I missed his call."

Kiprono said he left the club in the wee hours with Tiony after a night of club-hopping. Tiony asked him to help charge his phone as he went to Lorinyo’s house 100m from Rose’s.

He said while they were drinking, Tiony sent him to wake his mother up, as he had something urgent to tell her. Kiprono returned to the bar after his mother declined to open the door. “He did not tell me what he wanted to tell my mum.”

“I went to my house to charge the phone. He had told me he wanted to drop Lorinyo at the Kamagut Barracks. Minutes after 5am, I heard Tiony and Lorinyo in bitter exchange as they walked towards the homestead. Within seconds, I heard gunshots, and I ran back to the house. It never occurred to me that he had killed anyone. I thought he was angry and decided to shoot in the air, only to discover he had shot my mum and Lorinyo,” he said.

Uasin Gishu Deputy Governor Daniel Chemno yesterday pledged that the county would support the affected families in burial arrangements. Mr Chemno urged the State to prioritise counseling for its workforce.

Yesterday a sombre mood engulfed Propoi village in West Pokot County, where Lorinyo hailed from. Jacob Kapelile, a relative, said: “We are mourning because the killer cut off links with the lady in 2015".

He said once Lorinyo narrated to him that her ex-lover once warned her that he would revenge on her new lover. “The killer didn’t accept that my sister had moved on. He used to be bitter every time he saw her with her new lover,” he added.

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KDF soldierMurderHaron Tiony