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Police kill three in estate shooting

By | Published Mon, April 23rd 2012 at 00:00, Updated January 1st 1970 at 03:00 GMT +3

By ALLY JAMAH and RAWLINGS OTIENO

Police officers killed three people and injured two others, including a child, in an incident that has further darkened the reputation of the force.

A woman and a child injured in the on Sunday incident are fighting for their lives at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

A woman wails after the shootings. [PHOTOs: COLLINS KWEYU AND MBUGUA KIBERA/STANDARD]

Four officers attempting to disperse a crowd in Nairobi’s Dandora Estate fired several rounds of live bullets in the air.

Among the dead is seven-year-old Chelsea Atieno who lost her life after a bullet ripped through her belly.

She died shortly after being taken to KNH.

Ms Sarah Kabora, a conductor with the KBS, was hit by a stray bullet as she washed clothes outside her house in the fifth of floor of a building in Dandora Phase 4.

The bullet went through her stomach, leaving her bleeding profusely, before she lost her life a few moments later. She leaves behind a son, Eric, a Standard Eight pupil and a two-month-old baby.

Killed at home

Also killed was Olivia Kemunto, a 32-year-old mother of two, as she also washed clothes outside her house. The bullet went through her hip and got lodged in her stomach.

Her shocked husband, who works as a driver for a transport company, returned home to find his wife was no more.

Enraged residents stormed Dandora and Buru Buru Police Stations, but were pushed back by police who fired live bullets and teargas canisters into the air.

"The police have become killers. Instead of protecting us, they are killings people without remorse. We have lost all faith in them," screamed one protester.

Buru Buru OCPD Hassan Warua termed the incident unfortunate and vowed to investigate the matter and prosecute officers found guilty.

"Our officers started shooting into the air and unfortunately, the stray bullets killed three and injured two people. We will investigate the incident and prosecute the officers if they are found guilty," said Warua.

According to eyewitnesses, the children who were killed or injured were walking up the stairs when bullets started flying. Eyewitness said the police started shooting indiscriminately in all directions.

"What I saw is hard to explain. I am not a police officer, but the way they were firing the bullets was not professional at all," said a resident who witnessed the assault.

The residents accused police of working together with criminal gangs in the area and not acting decisively against escalating crime.

Demands

After more than two hours of running battles, the rowdy mob stormed the police station and took the OCPD to task with several demands, among them transfer of all police officers in the area and the OCS.

The OCPD appealed to the residents to maintain calm and promised them that all their demands will be met soon after investigation and asked any person with relevant information regarding incident to report to Buru Buru Police Station.

"We request the public and the residents of Dandora to remain calm and to supply us with any information that will help us conclude the investigation expeditiously," added Warua.

This becomes the latest incident to cast the police in a negative light as promised reforms drag on.


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