Attempted robbery in Nairobi CBD turns tragic

Members of the public take off along Kimathi Street after a shooting incident between thugs and police. (Photo: Mbugua Kibera/Standard)

By Cyrus Ombati

Nairobi, Kenya: Three people including a woman and two suspected thugs were Tuesday killed and two pistols recovered from them in a botched robbery and dramatic shooting along Kimathi Street, Nairobi.

Two others were injured by stray bullets as police pursued the suspects in the incident that caused major panic in the city

One of the suspects was shot and killed along Kamba lane off Moi Avenue while the second one was killed at Kimathi Street outside the former Nakumatt Supermarket opposite Stanley Hotel in the noon incident, police said.

A female pedestrian who was in the company of her husband was hit in the head by a stray bullet and died while being attended to at the Crescent Hospital at the Jamia Mall in the CBD.

Her husband was also shot and wounded in the leg by the stray bullets that were fired by police, witnesses said.

Another female pedestrian was shot and wounded in the hand. She was admitted at the same hospital for checkup before she and the other male victim were transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital by ambulances from St Johns.

Police said the two suspects were in a group of four whom had been on their trail.

Central Police deputy OCPD Julius Kyombule said the gunmen were targeting customers coming out of banks to rob them.

“Police were acting on information that the men were targeting some banks’ customers in the area when the shooting happened. It is unfortunate we lost innocent pedestrian,” said the police boss.

Two of the suspects escaped, he said. Curious onlookers jammed the streets to get a glimpse of the dead suspects.

It was an emotional moment at the hospital when the injured husband was told his wife had died. He could not stand up because his leg had been badly wounded.

Whereas the other injured victims were taken to waiting ambulances the body remained on a stretcher with a huge bandage on the head as doctors said it had been badly injured.

All the husband asked was to ensure his wife was buried in the afternoon in accordance with the Islamic teachings.

The shooting was the latest in a series that have happened in the last weeks in the city as police struggle to contain the situation.

Elsewhere, a student with Strathmore University in Nairobi was Monday night shot and seriously wounded in a robbery near the institution in Madaraka estate.

The student is said to have resisted a robbery of his laptop prompting the gang of three to shoot him two times in the thigh.

According to Nairobi County police chief Benson Kibue, the gang later grabbed the laptop and tried to escape with it but were stopped by police who had been alerted by the screams of the victim.

“The gang dropped the laptop and escaped on foot but a hunt on them is ongoing. The student was rushed to hospital where he is admitted in a stable but serious condition,” said Kibue.

No arrest has been made so far.