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Bloodshed as Kenyan officer turns gun on bosses

Sunday March 27 2011

Martin Mutwiri, the officer who is alleged to have shot a deputy OCS and a senior sergeant from Naromoru police station on March 26, 2011. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI

Martin Mutwiri, the officer who is alleged to have shot a deputy OCS and a senior sergeant from Naromoru police station on March 26, 2011. Photo/ JOSEPH KANYI 

By JOHN NJAGI [email protected]

A policeman, who shot dead two of his colleagues, stared into the camera without any remorse on Sunday morning.

Mr Martin Mutwiri, 28, was arrested as he boarded a Nairobi-bound matatu in Nanyuki town, in what detectives described as a bid to escape.

This was barely 10 hours after he shot the deputy commander of Naro Moru Police Station, Mr Hudson Orwenyo and a senior sergeant on Saturday evening.

Nyeri police boss Kirunya Limbitu said the suspect turned violent after he was reprimanded for failing to report on duty. He said the suspect turned up at the station drunk and snatched a loaded rifle from a female officer.

His first stop was the bookings office where he shot a senior sergeant and a corporal. The sergeant died on the spot, while the corporal was taken to hospital with serious injuries.

Mr Mutwiri then walked to Mr Orwenyo’s house, about 300 metres away from the station, and shot him in front of five children. He escaped after the attack but was arrested at dawn in Nanyuki town.

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The rifle was found a few metres from the crime desk, with four bullets. Detectives said the suspect could have fired at least 16 times since the rifle was loaded with 20 bullets.

A sombre mood engulfed the station on Sunday as police officers and residents tried to come to terms with the heinous act.

Evidence of the shooting was strewn all over, with the crime desk littered with spent cartridges and blood plastered on the walls and floor.

At Mr Orwenyo’s house, there were at least six bullet holes on the walls and the floor was messy with blood.

Police said the suspect fired at least seven times in the house, raising questions as to why he was not restrained in the first place.

The inspector’s wife, Ms Cornelia Apalat, said she had stepped out to buy groceries for supper when the killer struck. She said her husband was preparing to report for duty.

“He was in the bedroom changing when the police officer (attacker) entered the house without knocking and asked the children, who were studying, where their father was,” she said.

Their eight-year-old daughter pointed towards the bedroom, and the suspect trained his gun towards the door ready to shoot.

Mr Orwenyo fell down under a hail of bullets, as his two children and their three friends watched in horror.

The police station was turned into a crime scene as officers combed the area for the suspect.

In the evening, convoys of police cars snaked their way in and out of the police station as a manhunt was launched for the killer.

The suspect was arrested in Nanyuki town and is being held at the Nyeri Police Station. The police boss said the suspect had served the force for six years, and would be charged with murder.