Suspect drove getaway car after Mirema shooting: DCI

Dennis Karani Gichuki, suspect in the fatal shooting of Samuel Mugo Mugota at Mirema Drive in Nairobi in court yesterday. [Collins Kweyu, Standard

Investigations into the  Mirema Drive shooting incident where a man was killed have taken a new twist after the police said the main suspect is not the shooter.

A detective from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) instead said the suspect, Dennis Karani Gachoki, was driving the getaway car used by the shooter after killing Samuel Mugo Mugota in broad daylight.

DCI officer Kapario Lekakeny, in his affidavit to support an application by the prosecution to detain Gachoki for 14 days, said the suspect who surrendered on Monday was with a gang that plotted the murder of Mugota on May 16.

“The killing was executed by more than one person and we believe Gachoki was the one behind the wheel of the getaway vehicle which dropped the killer then drove him away,” said Lekakeny.

Nairobi Senior Principal Magistrate Caroline Njagi allowed the application to detain Gachoki for two weeks. She gave the police until June 8 to conclude investigations after which they will decide whether to charge him with murder.

Mugota was shot dead on May 16 by a lone gun man captured on CCTV cameras.

Following the incident, the DCI released photos of Gachoki as the key suspect in Mugota’s murder.

Fearing for his life after his photos were circulated, Gachoki presented himself to DCI headquarters on Monday.

Lekakeny said they suspect both Gachoki and Mugota were accomplices in an elaborate syndicate to drug revelers and that the murder might have been a result of a deal gone sour.

“Gachoki and his gang are believed to have premeditated the execution of Mugota who was their accomplice in the stupefying and fraudulent scheme,” said Lekakeny.

“Investigations are still analysing the numerous numbers they used to ascertain whether they are linked to the murder.” 

He added that although Gachoki surrendered to the police, he failed to produce his mobile phone and identity card which raised suspicion why he was hiding them.

Lekakeny told the court that they suspect Gachoki is in possession of illegal firearms and that they need time to search his three homes in Nakuru, Mombasa and Kiambu to recover the weapons.

“The family of the deceased is also still mourning and is traumatised,” said Lekakeny.

“We need to give them time to mourn before we can record their statements to unravel the mystery behind his shooting.”

When asked if he opposed the application to detain him, Gachoki who had no lawyer said he was comfortable being in police custody for the 14 days.

Gachoki had in his defence on Monday denied any involvement in the murder and told detectives that he knew Mugota when they met during a wedding in Meru but had never done any business with him.