Kabete killer cop’s family remorseful over murders

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The family of the police officer who murdered six people in Kabete has expressed remorse over the killings.

The family said Benson Imbatu did not exhibit any signs of suspect behaviour. They said they were horrified by the killings.

Family, friends and neighbours described him as caring, calm, joyous and one who abhorred disagreements with those he interacted with.

On Tuesday, Imbatu killed his wife and five strangers, then turned the gun on himself in his car.

His mother, Rael Imbatu, said her son was her only hope.

She said the last time she saw him was in September when he visited her in Chebar on the border of Vihiga and Nandi counties.

“I’m shocked by what happened in Nairobi…he just came for two days…I don’t know what the problem was,” Rael said.

Brother Julius Kadaba said he learnt of the killings on the internet.

The officer, who was born in Cheptulu, was the second born in a family of four children.

The family said Benson Imbatu had divorced his first wife. She is a businesswoman in Kitale, Trans Nzoia county. She stays with her three children.

He was staying with Carolina.

Carolina’s mother, Azibeta Asava, said her daughter had a seven-year-old son.

 Asava spoke at her home in Chanzuvo village, Mbihi, Vihiga county.

The family said Imbatu joined the police service in 1990 and has been engaging in different business activities that the family didn’t know.

Meanwhile, Imbatu was under investigation over the fatal shooting of a man in Mountain View estate, Nairobi, eight months ago.

The Independent Policing Oversight Authority had not concluded its probe, but Imbatu was still allowed to carry a gun, even an AK-47, and go on patrol. He was feared at Kabete police station for his short fuse and anger.

Imbatu was also “stressed” over constant quarrels with his wife, his friends and family said.

He had moved with Carol to the house where he killed her early this month. Imbatu had been at the nearby Kabete police station for the last three years.

He started a bar nearby and Carol is said to have been running the business.

His friends and relatives said Imbatu had been suspecting Carol was unfaithful and would at times isolate himself and even smoke “bad things” to forget.

He excused himself from duty on Tuesday and drove to his house where he met Carol who had closed the bar. He shot her dead and started a fire. 

He later walked out, got into his car and drove, shooting at anyone he met.

Most of the victims he shot were boda boda riders in the area who knew him and his car.

He later shot himself in his car as police approached.

 

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