A Form Two student has been hospitalised in critical condition after she was shot by a prison warder in Migori County.
The prison warder was pursuing a fleeing inmate when he accidentally shot the student from Ulanda Girls High School in the eye and head, sparking a demonstration by Migori residents, who accused the officer of being trigger happy.
The student was among others at Migori Boys High School for the Lake Region Kenya, Term Two A, Secondary Schools (LRKSS) games, when the incident happened yesterday morning.
The injured student was later transferred to Tenwek Mission Hospital in Bomet while the escaping convict was arrested with the help of members of the public, while stark naked.
According to a teacher who sought anonymity, hand ball games were going on when the incident happened.
“I was refereeing the match between Ulanda Girls High School and my school when we heard gunshots. They became rapid and everyone began scampering for safety as the shots intensified,” she said.
She recounted that amid the commotion they heard screams and saw two girls lying in the field. “We rushed to the scene and found the girl shot in the eye. We rushed her to Migori Mission Hospital.”
Moses Adala, chairperson of the school games regretted the incident and asked security personnel to exercise caution when handling firearms.
“An escapee from the prison was running towards the school and was being chased by the warders. They started shooting when the student and coaches were all over the field; a bullet caught one of the students,” he said.
The prison is just a fence away from Migori Boys High School.
Angry residents thronged the hospital demanding to know the girl’s condition.
The medical officer in charge was at pains explaining that they could not be allowed into the main theatre where the girl was undergoing surgery.
The residents then took to the streets to protest what they termed prison warders’ careless shooting of innocent people.
They later marched to the county commander’s office where they demanded the immediate arrest of the warder who had shot the girl.
County Police Commander David Kirui could also not say why no action had been taken against warders who shot demonstrators during the anti-Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission demonstrations in town last Monday.
Mr Kirui however termed the incident unfortunate, and said he had instructed criminal investigation officers to probe the incident and ensure the culprit is brought to book. “The responsible warder will face the law,” he said. Dennis Orero, political advisor to Migori Governor Okoth Obado told Kirui he had only one day to carry out investigations and ensure the warder is brought to book.
“We cannot live with officers who keep shooting innocent civilians. The people are not happy and they will not tolerate the same,” said Mr Orero.