NAIROBI, September 26 – A police officer was killed during a shootout with gangsters in Nairobi’s Kirinyaga road on Friday afternoon.,
The officer was felled by four thugs who were escaping from an electronic shop where they had grabbed cash. Police said the gangsters were armed with an AK 47 rifle and a pistol.
Central divisional police chief Tito Kilonzi said the slain officer was in the company of three others when they ran into the fleeing thugs.
“The gangsters were running away and it appears they thought they had been spotted by our officers. That is when they shot at them,” he said.
The officer attached to the Kamukunji police station was felled by a single bullet fired to his chest and there was no chance of survival because he was shot at close range.
Fellow officers pursued the gangsters and engaged them in a gun battle but they managed to escape. Two of the suspects were however said to have fled with gunshot wounds.
The incident comes barely a week after another police officer was shot and seriously wounded during a shootout with criminals on Nairobi’s River Road, making that part of the city the most dangerous zone for both the police and the public.
“Our officers are becoming a target for criminals. We are increasingly losing our officers to these thugs, particularly in streets within downtown Nairobi,” he said.
On learning of the Friday killing of the police officer, Nairobi Provincial Police chief Njue Njagi convened what insiders termed a ‘crisis meeting’ that was attended by top CID officers. It was expected to come up with new strategies to fight crime, particularly in the hard-hit areas.
When reached for comment, Mr Njagi said he would enhance security patrols in all parts of the city to reduce rising crime.
“We have a new strategy just wait and see,” he said.