Police officers in fatal shooting under investigation

Monday October 23 2017

Bloomingdale Roses managing director Bunty Shah

Bloomingdale Roses managing director Bunty Shah. He was shot dead at his Westlands home on October 22, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY 

By STELLA CHERONO
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Police officers who conducted the Sunday operation that resulted in the death of a businessman have been ordered to surrender their guns for examination.

The officers, drawn from specialised units in the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, were required to surrender the firearms by close of business today.

Sources at the DCI said the 12 officers who were dispatched to the house of Bloomingdale Roses managing director Bunty Shah in Westlands, Nairobi, to conduct a search were also asked to record statements.

PUBLIC SECURITY
This came a day after the National Police Service (NPS) issued a statement confirming that its officers were involved in the shooting, but termed the incident “regrettable”, promising to conduct investigations.

NPS spokesperson George Kinoti said in a statement that police received information about individuals plotting multiple attacks in Nairobi using weapons stocked in an unoccupied house on Peponi Road.

“Having evaluated the information, a quick check confirmed that there was indeed such a building ... adjacent to other unoccupied properties,” Mr Kinoti said on behalf of Inspector-General of Police Joseph Boinnet.

“In view of the real and imminent danger to public security, a further and thorough check at that unoccupied property became necessary and had to be done immediately.”

GUN FIGHT
He said during the operation, the officers came under fire from the balcony of a building nearby.

The statement added that despite being cautioned, the “unidentified person” continued firing, drawing response from the officers.

“In the ensuing exchange of fire, the individual identified as Bunty Shah was fatally injured.

"While we always endeavour to verify information obtained from the public before responding, in this instance and in the view of the magnitude of the threat and the fact that the building was unoccupied, there was no room for delay,” Mr Kinoti said.

AUTOPSY
He denied reports on social media that the operation at the Shah house was related to last week’s raid on Mr Jimi Wanjigi’s Muthaiga home.

On Monday, investigators from different units of the police conducted interviews at the Shah home.

Mr Shah’s uncle, Mr Kiru Shah, said family members had given all the information to the police and “we are waiting for the conclusion of investigations”.

“A postmortem examination was conducted on the body on Sunday but the report is with the police. A bullet went through his heart,” Mr Kiru said.

RAID
The family plans to hold a ceremony for the businessman at Oshwal Centre before cremation.

The Shah family demanded to know why the officers fled the scene after the shooting, even before establishing if the people they were looking for were around.

They also questioned the reason Gigiri OCPD Vitalis Otieno was not informed of the raid.

Mr Otieno told journalists on Sunday that his officers were not involved in the operation.

Mr Shah, who was the owner of Bloomingdale Roses was the son of Bobmil Industries owner, the late Vipin Shah.