Postmortem reveals slain schoolboy was shot twice

Haki Africa Programme Officer Salma Hemed (left) consoles Ruth Syombua outside Coast General Mortuary in Mombasa yesterday. Her son Tony Katana was shot dead by police last Saturday in Kongowea. [Photo: Omondi Onyango/Standard]

A postmortem has been conducted on the body of a Form Two student who was shot dead earlier this month.

The examination showed that Tony Katana Kenga, who was a student at Havard High School in Nyali Constituency, died as a result of an injury to the spinal cord.

Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid said the lobby had received express authorisation from Katana’s family to facilitate the autopsy.

“A preliminary medical report by pathologists who carried out the postmortem showed the cause of death as being an injury to the spinal cord,” Mr Khalid said.

Katana was shot in the right buttock and in the face below the cheek, he said.

“Both bullets were lodged inside and never exited,” Khalid said.

He said the incident was evidence of use of excessive force by police.

“It appears that when Katana was shot the first time, the injuries inflicted immobilised him. This would have been perfect for the said officers to handcuff him and have him arrested but the officer went ahead and pumped another bullet aiming for his face,” Khalid said.

Katana’s mother Ruth Syombua accused police of killing her secondborn son in cold blood. But Kisauni Deputy OCPD Walter Abondo claims the teenager was a criminal.

“He was part of gang of armed youths whom police had accosted and tried to challenge police officers. He was armed with a panga and a knife and when challenged to surrender, attempted to attack police, hence he was shot,” he said.

Mr Abondo said police were pursuing other gang members.

“We are going after them and will not relent on the war to pacify Nyali from criminal gangs,” he said.

But a witness who sought anonymity told The Standard that a group of people in civilian clothes had waylaid them as they left a wedding party.

“We were in a group and had gone to a wedding party on the night of August 13, 2016 in Kongowea. We stayed for a while but decided to leave for a second wedding party also within the same location. As we approached Uwanja wa Mbuzi, we saw a group of people who ordered us to stop. We did not know who they were so we ran away fearing that they could be thugs. It is at this juncture that we heard gun shots and looking back saw Tony lying down,” the witness said.

Katana will be buried at his parent’s home in Kisasi, Ngangani village in Kitui County next week.

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