Patients and nurses at Mwingi Level Four Hospital, Mwingi Central, were on Thursday morning left in shock after unknown people sneaked into a ward and shot dead a 27-year-old patient.
The victim, identified as Fredrick Ngandi, was reportedly killed at 3am, several hours after he was admitted to the facility to undergo treatment for gunshot wounds suspected to have been inflicted by the same people earlier on.
It is feared that the assailants had gone there to finish the job after an earlier attempt to kill Mr Ngandi, a businessman in Kitui town, failed.
He was abducted in Majengo, in Kitui town, by four men armed with pistols and forced into an unidentified car, according to reports by sources who sought anonymity for security reasons.
The reports further indicated that Mr Ngandi was blindfolded and driven to Ukasi, on the Mwingi–Garissa highway, where the kidnappers are believed to have tortured him before shooting him several times.
The assailants then left him for dead in a roadside thicket.
Fortunately, he survived and upon regaining consciousness crawled back to the road, where a Good Samaritan noticed him and rushed him to the Ukasi police post.
The police officers visited the crime scene before rushing the bloodied man to Mwingi Level Four Hospital.
According to an eyewitness, who sought anonymity, the assailants invaded the hospital’s surgical ward, where the patient was undergoing treatment, after the security officers had left, sprayed him with bullets then vanished into the darkness.
Police officers who rushed to the hospital after the incident found 17 spent cartridges at the scene.
Efforts to reach Mwingi Central police boss Gerald Barasa for comment were fruitless as calls and text messages to his mobile phone went unanswered.
However, Kitui County Commissioner Boaz Cherutich confirmed the incident but said he was yet to receive concrete details about the incidents and the victim, adding that the motive behind the killing was yet to be known.
He told the Nation by phone that detectives had been deployed to Mwingi to probe the killing as police launched a manhunt for the gang.
Mwingi Central Sub-County Commissioner David Rotich said security officers were on the ground investigating the matter.
“Our security officers are on the ground looking into the incident. I am yet to know exactly what happened until I am briefed,” he told the Nation BY phone.
Ken Mwangi, who works as a nurse at the hospital and an official of the Kenya National Union of Nurses, said they feared for their security following the incident.
“If a patient can be killed by unknown people while in the hospital, then the hospital staff is not safe either,” he said.
He called on the hospital’s administration and Mwingi security agencies to ensure that security is beefed up at the hospital especially at night.
The body of the victim was taken to the hospital’s mortuary.