Nandi cop in cobbler shooting charged with murder

Thursday July 16 2020

Members of the public during a security meeting in Lessos, Nandi County on June 26, 2020 after a cobbler was shot dead by police. Two more people were shot dead after they protested the incident. PHOTO | JARED NYATAYA | NATION MEDIA GROUP


A police constable from Nandi County has been charged with murder over the shooting of a cobbler at Lessos shopping centre nearly three weeks ago.

Sammy Onyango was charged with the murder of Lazaro Tirop on June 25, an incident that led to protests by hundreds of villagers.

The charge was preferred against Mr Onyango by Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions in Kapsabet, Judith Betty Ayuma, after perusing his file on July 10.

Mr Onyango was then brought to a court in Eldoret where he was subjected to a mental assessment and Covid-19 tests before appearing in court for plea taking.

The police officer denied the charge before Justice Hellen Omondi of the Eldoret High Court on Wednesday.

His lawyer Judy Muiruri requested the court to allow his client to be released on bond, upon which the court ruled that the case be mentioned on Friday July 17 for bail application.


The court directed that the accused be detained at Eldoret West police station.


Following the shooting incident, three people died while five others sustained serious injuries in a clash between the police and residents of Lessos area.

Hundreds of villagers stormed the Lessos Police Station in anger and vandalised property.

It was alleged that the accused shot Mr Tirop for flouting Covid-19 regulations.

They also set ablaze the house of the OCS.

Before the shooting, the deceased and other villagers had protested the harassment of a boda boda operator by police officers for not wearing a face mask.

The father of four was shot and killed as he confronted Mr Onyango and his colleagues.