A gangster believed to be the leader of the Wakali Kwanza gang was shot dead in a foiled robbery in Kisauni, Mombasa, on Tuesday.
The suspect identified only as Jilo was gunned down by police officers on patrol after he attempted to attack them at around 5.30 am in Swalihina area.
Kisauni police boss Sangura Musee said the officers were alerted by residents who saw gangsters armed with machetes robbing traders heading to Kongowea market.
“The officers confronted the gang of three. They were ordered to surrender but one of them attempted to attack the officers with a machete. He was shot and disarmed but died on the way to Coast General Hospital."
The rest escaped unhurt.
Last week, another gang leader was killed in the same area by police officers on patrol.
Officers have named at least 13 notorious, knife-wielding, juvenile criminal gangs. They include Kapenguria Six, Wajukuu wa Bibi, Young Thugs and Chafu in Likoni whose hot spots are Majengo Mapya, Mtongwe and Shika Adabu.
Speaking to the Star, Musee urged gang members to surrender to authorities. He said seven presented themselves to police last week in the company of their parents.
The police boss also appealed for cooperation by residents as the criminals are local youths who need advice so they can denounce the illegal groups.
The mistrust between security officers and Kisauni residents is partly to blame for the insurgence of criminal gangs in the area.
Youths said they feel more secure in criminal groupings than with police - security agents are accused of executing arbitrary arrests so they can be bribed to release suspects.
They have also been accused of colluding with the criminals.