Four villagers, one of them a woman, are being treated for gunshot wounds after a police officer opened fire on a crowd attempting to lynch a suspected criminal in Longonot, Naivasha.
A police officer was also injured and is also being treated at the Naivasha Sub-County Hospital.
Trouble started at around 6.00 pm on Sunday evening when villagers spotted a man they said was behind a wave of attacks and robberies in the area.
The man is said to have seriously injured a victim during a robbery and had gone into hiding.
Naivasha Sub-County Assistant Commissioner Eunice Wambua said on realising his danger, the man fled to a house with the crowd in hot pursuit.
Police officers arrived before the crowd could flush him out of the house and tried to stop the villagers from lynching him.
“They turned rowdy and started pelting the officers with stones, forcing one of them to open fire,” said Ms Wambua.
But speaking from their hospital beds Monday, three the victims claimed they were not part of the lynch mob and were hit by stray bullets.
“I was walking along the highway when I heard shots and was hit by a bullet,” said Mr Peter Kimindiri.
Another, Mr Peter Ng’ang’a, said he was watching from a distance when he was shot in the leg.
Nineteen-year-old Stanley Njogu said he was walking home from work when he was shot. “I saw people running away and I joined them but was shot in both legs. I was not even aware what was happening,” he said.
The four are still at the hospital but Medical Superintendent Joseph Mburu said they were out of danger.
“One of them, who was shot in the thigh, requires specialised treatment and might be transferred but the others, including the police officer, are responding well to treatment,” said Dr Mburu.