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Kabete 6 shooting: Horror scenes in dead of night as love affair ends tragically

NAIROBI
By Kamore Maina and Brian Okoth | December 7th 2021

Benson Imbatu shot dead five people and turned the gun on himself on Tuesday, November 7, 2021. [Courtesy]

A romantic relationship between Benson Imbatu and one Carol, that started three months ago, ended tragically in the dead of night, when Imbatu, a resident of Dagoretti Sub-County, police say, fatally shot the girlfriend and five others on Tuesday.

According to police, the moment of rage was triggered by the suspicion that Carol, a former barmaid, was cheating on Imbatu, who had invested finances and emotions in the youthful woman.

Dagoretti Sub-County Police Commander Francis Wahome narrated to The Standard what preliminary investigations into Imbatu’s love background have revealed.

The tragic love story began in September, when Imbatu, a police constable at Kabete station, met Carol during one of his evening drink-outs. Carol was working as a barmaid at Imbatu’s favourite drinking joint.

He won her heart, and she reciprocated by cohabiting with him at J Heights Apartments in Kangemi, a house he moved into on November 12.

When the love grew fast, Imbatu opened for Carol her own bar.

With time, trust issues started rocking their relationship, gradually pushing it over the precipice, a love tale that was quickly growing into a precarious affair.

All the while, however, Carol assured and reassured Imbatu of her commitment to only him, but the police constable still harboured reservations, reservations that morphed into fatal jealousy.

Constable Benson Imbatu of Kabete Police Station was not on night duty on Monday, through Tuesday. He was not supposed to be in possession of his firearm, an AK-47 rifle of serial number 4915724. How he managed to have the gun, leading to the loss of six lives, including himself, is now a subject of investigation.

The Standard understands that at around 1am, Imbatu went home, and picked a quarrel with Carol.

During the heat of the moment, he reportedly fired a bullet into Carol’s neck, killing her on the spot. Imbatu is suspected to have, thereafter, set the house alight. The fire, however, was quickly put out.

The loud gunshot ripped through the night, attracting the attention of boda boda riders, who had, out of curiosity, rushed to the scene.

On his way out, the riders attempted to interrogate Imbatu, triggering a violent response. He reportedly shot one of them dead.

While escaping, he shot two neighbours, who also died at the scene. A brave boda boda rider, who reportedly, watched as the cop killed his colleague and two others, attempted to give Imbatu a chase, but the cop, reportedly, shot his pursuer, who died while undergoing treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH).

It was then that, police say, he turned the AK-47 rifle on himself and fatally fired a bullet in his neck.

Police say besides the five who died from the shooting, two other people, including a boda boda rider, sustained gunshot injuries, and are receiving treatment at the Kenyatta National Hospital.

In a report filed at the Kabete Police Station by Imbatu’s neighbour, Purity Cheruiyot, officers arrived at the scene minutes to 2am and recovered the AK-47 rifle, four rounds of ammunition and four spent cartridges.

Bodies of the six, who died in the murder-suicide, were taken to City Mortuary as investigations continue.

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