Wolf in sheep skin: Pastor killed in botched robbery had a toy pistol

Armed undercover cop. [iStockphoto]

A man who was gunned down by police five days ago during a botched robbery incident has been identified as a pastor in a local church.

Ezekiel Muinde Mwangangi, a preacher at Heaven City Chapel based at Soweto in Kitui West was shot dead at the busy Kavisuni market.

Together with an accomplice, they had attacked a businessman who ran a wholesale shop shortly after 9pm.

Kitui County Director of Criminal Investigations Samuel Bett, said the pastor and his accomplice stormed the wholesaler’s shop soon after the businessman had closed for the day. They then ordered him to surrender money and his phones.

As the two tussled with the businessman, the commotion attracted local police officers on patrol who responded swiftly, ordering the duo to surrender.

Instead of surrendering, the pastor whipped out a toy pistol, prompting the police to respond with fire. He was killed instantly as his colleague melted into the darkness under a hail of bullets, leaving behind a motorbike they were using.

It has since emerged that the thug who escaped is also an assistant at the same church. The DCI boss said the criminals had disguised themselves as police officers.

They told the shop owner they were on a mission to look for alleged stolen goods, before turning against him immediately he opened the door.  

Police investigating the incident revealed that the two preachers turned wolves had earlier in the day hired a motorbike under the guise of transporting their music equipment to a crusade in Matinyani market.

Mission

Unknown to the motorbike owner, who has also recorded statements with the police, the two would travel some 30km away in Kitui Rural for the robbery mission.

On Tuesday, Pastor David Munene, founder of the Heaven City Chapel in Matinyani and who recruited the slain pastor said he was still in shock at the turn of events.

Pastor Munene said his first interaction with the slain Mwangangi was during a crusade at Kalundu within Kitui township where he showed potential in preaching the gospel.

The lead pastor said he was in the process of helping the slain preacher be a full pastor at one of his branches at Kauma Market.

“There was nothing particularly strange about him except some few complaints from worshipers that he was hot-tempered and sometimes harsh but we resolved those issues through dialogue,” Pastor Munene said.

He said the sad incident made him a target of endless police interrogations. Those who interacted with the slain man said he was a charismatic preacher who loved singing and playing the piano.

“He preached in all open-air crusades of our church where at the end of each sermon he would make an altar call for people to repent their sins. It is sad that we will never know his side of story,” said Ambrose Wambua, a fellow worshiper.

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