NAIROBI, Kenya Oct 16 – The three gunmen killed by police in a dramatic shootout in Nairobi’s Buru Buru estate on Saturday have been described as “notorious and dangerous” who were wanted for a series of armed crime in the city and its environs.
Nairobi Provincial Police chief Antony Kibuchi said it was the worst crop of thugs he has ever dealt with in his 30-plus years of service in the police.
“I don’t know how to describe them. I can say they were dangerous, notorious, satanic,” Kibuchi said in a telephone interview on Sunday.
“They are merciless, in most cases thugs usually run away while shooting in the air but not shooting at people even women who are minding their own business but these ones were inhumane kind of thugs,” Kibuchi said.
They were also wanted for several armed crime and carjackings which have in most cases resulted in the deaths of victims.
“In most of the robberies and attacks where they were involved, they always shot at their victims, we had hunted them down for quite sometime now and they always evaded the dragnet,” Kibuchi said.
On Saturday, Flying Squad police officers intercepted them on Outering Road in Eastlands and pursued them before they reportedly abandoned their car and started fleeing on foot while shooting at the officers.
“That is when two of them were shot dead but the other one managed to escape towards Buru Buru shopping centre after shooting at two police officers and a female passer by,” a police officer who was involved in the operation said.
The woman and one of the police officer shot by the thug died on the spot while another officer is fighting for his life in hospital.
In what turned out to be one of the longest shoot-out, officers pursued the gun man to a house in Prudential Building where he engaged them in a five-hour shooting.
When he stormed the house using the back door, the family of four was having lunch, but they all escaped leaving the thug behind before he proceeded to hide in the bedroom upstairs.
Attempts by the officers to lob tear gas into the house did not yield much as the gun man remained holed up in the bullet-riddled house from where he kept calling media houses pleading to be allowed to surrender.
The thug said he was willing to surrender on condition that the police allow journalists and human rights activists to escort him from the house because he was too scared of bullets.
Officers from the GSU’s elite Recce Unit were finally called in to conduct a daring security operation of flushing the suspect out of the house dead or alive and within less than five minutes of their arrival, they stormed the house and shot him dead, ending a five-hour operation which had stalled business in the Buru Buru neighbourhood.
A senior police officer at Police Headquarters told Capital News that the government would compensate the owner of the house which was damaged by bullets during the shoot out.
By the end of the day, five people lay dead all felled by the bullets.
Three of them were thugs, a police officer and a woman who was shot in the cross fire between police and the thugs before they were felled.
“These were very dangerous people, you see they even killed an innocent woman and a police officer. They also wounded another officer who is still in hospital,” Kibuchi said.
He said they recovered two fire arms, including the pistol snatched from a police officer.
He cited a robbery incident that occurred in Gikomba shopping centre on Wednesday night when eight gunmen stormed an MPESA shop and grabbed Sh 121, 800 from an attendant before they shot at a passer-by as they fled. The man later died while being rushed to hospital.
“This is the same group that was armed with two AK 47 rifles and we believe even with the killing of the three, their accomplices are still at large. We will continue pursuing them,” he said.
Kibuchi said fingerprints samples had been taken from all the three slain thugs to ascertain their identities.
“We do not know their real identities but from the descriptions we have been getting and the nature of their operation, we believe this is the group that has been giving us problems here in the city,” the PPO said.