The police yesterday defended the shooting at Trans Nzoia county on Sunday night.
In a press statement on behalf of Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinnet,
Charles Wahong’o said the officers killed two men after rowdy wananchi
rescued an assault suspect who was under arrest.
“In the ensuing melee the suspect, who was already handcuffed, managed to escape,” he said.
The IG said the crowd descended on two police officers who had
arrested the suspect with stones and other projectiles, hitting the one
who was armed. He fell to the ground and the residents attempted to
snatch his rifle.
“This prompted the officer to open fire, fatally injuring two male adults, and they got a chance to escape to the patrol base,” the IG said. “The crowd regrouped and in their numbers advanced towards the patrol base, forcing the officer-in-charge to call for reinforcement from the GSU Chepchoina Camp and Endebess police station.”
The IG said the mob attacked the Land Cruiser ferrying the GSU officers, smashed the driver’s window and hit the driver and injured the other officers.
“The crowd also smashed the windscreen of other police vehicles, one from Endebess police station and another from the Scenes of Crime Unit, that had responded to the distress call from Kolongolo patrol base,” he said.
The IG warned wananchi against attacking officers. “Attempting to forcibly release a suspect is a serious offence that calls for police to use necessary force and we shall not shy away from dealing with such kind of behaviour as the law demands,” he said.
He said the decision to use a firearm as provided for in the law is informed by the prevailing circumstances and proportionate to the force used by the other party.
“Assaulting a police officer is a very serious offence and nobody will be allowed to get away with it,” the IG said.