Kenyan police officer shoots 10 dead

By James Macharia

NAIROBI (BestGrowthStock) – A Kenyan provincial police officer shot 10 people dead at several bars in a small town northeast of Nairobi before surrendering, a police spokesman said on Sunday.

“He went from one bar to another and was shooting indiscriminately. Apparently he was looking for his girlfriend after he left duty,” Charles Owino, a Nairobi-based deputy spokesman in the regular police division told Reuters.

“Among the 10 dead were two of his colleagues who were investigating the shootings. Apparently no one was injured during the shooting, all those he shot at died,” Owino said.

Five men, three women and the two police officers were killed in the shooting spree on Saturday night. The officer tried to shoot himself but had run out of ammunition, and later surrendered to police.

Owino said the officer, Peter Karanja, went on the rampage after he finished his shift as a guard at the District Commissioners’ (DC) residence.

He said police were investigating a number of leads, including one that Karanja had discovered he was infected with HIV and went in search of his girlfriend whom he suspected could have infected him with the virus.

Police are also looking into reports that Karanja was angry over news his lover was having an affair.

Siakago is a small town near Embu, 120 km (74 miles) northeast of Nairobi toward Mount Kenya. Embu serves as the headquarters of Kenya’s Eastern Province.

Angry relatives of the victims and some residents of Siakago held a brief demonstration on Sunday morning, Marcus Ocholla, the provincial police officer for the eastern province said.

“Residents on the ground are very angry. They see us as people who kill rather than people who protect them,” Ocholla told Reuters. “We as the provincial administration are trying to talk to the relatives of the dead people to calm them down.”

Ocholla said the suspect in the shooting was known to have had a poor disciplinary record, but declined to give details.

“He had a number of run in with his superiors, and has been punished for several offences according to his file,” he said.

The officer serves in a branch of Kenya’s police system that is attached to its provincial administration which has its own chain of command separate from the regular police system.

Kenyan police officer shoots 10 dead