The Independent Policing Oversight Authority has launched investigations into the shooting and killing of a carjacker by police officers in a church in Ruiru, Kiambu County, on Sunday.
The authority said in a statement yesterday that it is probing the incident because it borders on extrajudicial killing.
“Upon becoming aware of the incident, IPOA through its own motion and in execution of its mandate took up the matter for investigation and establishment of culpability,” head of communications Dennis Oketch said.
In the incident, the police shot the unidentified criminal who had sought refuge in the Israel Assemblies of God Church in Kihunguro, Ruiru subcounty.
The man was running away from the officers who had already shot him thrice. He pleaded with the congregation to hide him. But the officers stormed the church and shot him outside the church.
Pleas by church members including the church’s paster – Peter Maina – to spare the man fell on deaf ears.
“Maybe he was willing to change for the better, but cops could hear none of that. They dragged him out of the church and shot him one more time,” Maina said.
He died on his way to hospital.
The police said that the man was part of a four-gang that robbed an Uber taxi driver of his car at Athi River in Machakos County last Saturday.
Oketch said that if the officers are found guilty of extra-judicial killing, then they will be charged.
“The authority will ensure the officers responsible face the full force of the law by making appropriate disciplinary or criminal remedial recommendations to the DPP or suitable government agencies,” he said.
The police officers said that one of the man’s accomplices was killed but he and the two others escaped.
Elsewhere, IPOA is also investigating another case of suspected extrajudicial killing in Baringo county.
In this case, police officers on patrol are being accused of brutally assaulting a 32-year-old man in Eldama Ravine.
“The authority has dispatched its rapid response team to investigate the matter,” Oketch said in the statement.
The police have in the recent past been on the spot over the rising cases of extrajudicial killings.
Human rights organizations have accused the police of executing youths, especially in urban slums, in the pretext of fighting crime. In Nairobi, youth in Kayole, Mukuru Slums, Kibera, Dandora have been shot dead.