GANGSTER?

Family demands justice for son killed by Kisumu police

Family disputes police version of robbery gang, says it was an extrajudicial killing

In Summary

• Police said suspect was a gangster on robbery mission, defied police order to surrender and pulled a knife.

•Victim's father demanded justice for his son and appealed to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to probe the shooting.

 

Walter Odhiambo who was killed by police on Thursday morning in Kisumu's Kondele.
SHOT DEAD: Walter Odhiambo who was killed by police on Thursday morning in Kisumu's Kondele.
Image: DICKENS WASONGA

The family of a man shot dead by police in Kisumu on Thursday at 3am want justice for the killing, saying he wasn’t a gangster.

Police said the man, Walter Odhiambo, 30, was part of a five-man gang on a robbery mission.

The family said Odhiambo was a bouncer at a nightclub and also worked as a tout.

Kisumu Central subcounty police commander James Ng’etich said Odhiambo and the gang were aiming to rob premises in Kondele.

Ng’etich said police told the suspects to surrender. Instead, four fled with their pangas and knives but Odhiambo pulled a knife, he said.

“Our officers were tipped by the watchmen about the suspects who were armed with pangas and knives,” he said.

He was shot twice in the chest and on the left side of his head. He was only carrying a knife.
Odhiambo's father, John Onyango

“He whipped out a knife when he was asked to surrender forcing one of the officers to shoot him, fatally wounding him,” he said.

Odhiambo’s family called it an extrajudicial killing and asked why police with guns didn’t immobilise a man with a knife.

His father, John Onyango Oremo demanded justice and appealed to the Independent Policing Oversight Authority to probe the shooting.

“Why did the police deem it fit to fatally shoot my son instead of immobilising him? We need justice to know know the motive behind this action by trigger-happy officer,” he said.

Speaking outside the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital mortuary after viewing the body, he said his son had three gunshot wounds.

“He was shot twice in the chest and on the left side of his head. He was only carrying a knife,” he said.

Odhiambo’s uncle identified as Steven Ochieng said he was with him on Wednesday night.

“We were with him when I visited the family in Manyatta estate at around 10pm. He was in great spirits,” he said. The uncle said a neighbour of the Odhiambo family told them an unidentified man, believed to be a police officer or informer, had been visiting the house at night.

“The suspicious man visited four times, each time knocking at the door to establish if the owner is around,” he said.

Odhiambo’s family said he believed he was being trailed. “For this reason, he avoided sleeping in his house,” his uncle said.

A friend of Odhiambo who was with him minutes before he was shot said they were walking out of a popular club in Kondele when they were stopped by  police officers.

The witness, who asked not to be identified, said Odhiambo tried to flee from the police.

“They caught up with him and instead of surrendering, he removed a knife from his trousers, prompting one of the officers to shoot him,” he said.

(Edited by V. Graham)