Shock and grief engulfed two villages in Elgeyo Marakwet County after a man who allegedly shot dead his fiancé was killed in cold blood by an irate mob.
The suspect is said to have used an unregistered firearm to shoot his alleged girlfriend, killing her on the spot in Kasui Village, Marakwet East constituency at around 2am yesterday before he fled the village.
But hours later, according to authorities, the suspect was smoked out of his hideout at Chesoi Trading Centre, about 15 kilometres away from the scene of the shooting, by angry villagers who were reportedly tracking him.
Marakwet East Sub-County Police Commander Vincent Kitili said the slain woman was from the neighbouring Kiboiten Village.
Mr Kitili said it took police officers from Mogil Police Station three hours to access the suspect’s house in the remote village where the body of his fiancé lay.
The police commander said it was not immediately clear why the man killed his fiancé, noting that Directorate of Criminal (DCI) Investigations have launched probe into the cold blood killings.
“Officers arrived at the scene of the first killing at 6am after walking for three hours. While processing the scene they received information that the suspect has been spotted in Chesoi and that he had been lynched by a mob,” he said.
He said the suspect was slid on the throat and left bleeding to death at about 7am, five hours after he allegedly killed his girlfriend.
According to Kitili, the slain man had fled to his cousin’s home in Chesoi Trading Centre near Marakwet East Sub-County police headquarters, but angry villagers suspected to be from his fiancé’s Kiboiten village stormed the home and slashed him to dead using machetes.
He told The Standard that the firearm used in the shooting was illegal and added that police have mounted a search for the gun.
Mr Kitili said security apparatus are concerned with increasing use of illicit firearms in killings in the area.
“We are talking to area Chiefs and their assistants in a bid to recover the firearm. The suspect fled and he has now been killed. We could not ascertain where he hid the illegal firearm,” he said
Eleven days ago, Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai declared all unregistered firearms illegal. Kitili said police are cracking down on illegal gun holders.
The morning killings came a month after a man killed three children in a midnight attack at his parents-in-laws house in Kapker Village, Embolot location in the same constituency in a suspected family dispute.
The suspect David Kipkorir would later be executed by his clansmen under a cultural execution meted out on notorious killers among the Marakwet community, and hurriedly buried. The firearm he used was handed over to the police, according to Mr Kitili.