Police in Machakos have started an investigation into an incident in which a fellow police officer allegedly fatally shot a herder on Sunday, April 5.
The officer, Victor Kariuki of Cipu, was arrested and detained at Machakos Police station following the incident that took place at Vet Farm, opposite Machakos County Governor’s office.
The 38-year old herder, identified as Muendo Maundu, died on the spot after he was shot in the shoulder.
A police report on the matter indicates that Kariuki had responded to a distress call from security officers deployed at the farm who told him that herders were illegally grazing at the farm.
The cop rushed to the farm and met a group of herders, where a scuffle ensued between him and the herders.
In the process of confrontations, Kariuki is said to have shot in the air to scare the charging crowd.
The deceased allegedly attempted to grab the gun and was shot on the back of his right shoulder, which exited on the back of the left shoulder and died on the spot.
The angry crowd then advanced to Vet farm offices, where they set ablaze a hay store and grass plantation.
The County fire brigade was called to the farm, but by the time they responded, the store was completely burnt, with the grass plantation was being largely burnt.
The herder’s body was taken to Machakos Level 5 Hospital mortuary, where a post-mortem will be conducted.
Machakos Sub-County Criminal Investigations Officer (SCIO) Rhoda Kanyi intervened in the chaos and restored calmness among the residents.
Ms. Kanyi called on witnesses to cooperate with the police and assured them of their safety.
“If you fear that you may get into trouble if you convey information, we will ensure that you are protected accordingly as per the Witness Protection Agency. Relatives to the deceased should also come up, and justice will be served,” she said.
One of the herders claimed that the officers demanded Sh6, 000 to release their cattle, leading to the confrontation and the eventual killing.