• The bar attendant allegedly refused to serve the victim a beer bought by a friend, leading to a scuffle that attracted the attention of the policeman.
• The county police commander said the incident was unfortunate and an isolated case
A police officer shot dead a civilian after a disagreement at a bar in Meru before turning the gun on himself at the weekend.
Julius Mwenda was killed at Kunati Police station by a police officer identified only as Murithi.
The disagreement started at a bar in Kunat market as Mwenda was taking beer, according to his brother Magorwe James.
A friend bought him a drink but the bar attendant allegedly refused to serve him. A scuffle ensued, attracting the attention of the policeman, who was allegedly a friend of the bar attendant.
Joseph M’Ntuikiba, a businessman and former councillor said Mwenda only wanted his beer but the officer ordered the woman attendant to close the bar.
“I heard gunshots from the station at 9:30pm but was afraid to go there. The officer was a bully – unfriendly and very drunkard. I didn’t expect an officer protecting civilians to use a gun to kill them,” M’Ntuikiba said.
Mwenda has left behind a young family with two kids, one in class two and a one year old child.
Magorwe said Mwenda was furious and demanded why the attendant was refusing with the beer. The woman instead raised the alarm, drawing the attention of the police officer.
"The officer and Mwenda started fighting and he was overpowered. He got annoyed and called for reinforcement. His colleagues arrived and handcuffed Mwenda."
The officer continued beating the already injured Mwenda as his colleagues ordered him to write a statement so that he could be issued with a P3 form and go to a hospital.
Magorwe said the killer cop did not have a gun during the scuffle. "He got the gun at the police station and killed him. We found his body at Meru Level Five Hospital morgue,” he said.
County commander Patrick Lumumba said the incident was unfortunate and an isolated case. He asked civilians to be friendly to officers and vice versa.
“These were individual differences,” Lumumba said and denied that officers from the station have been brutalising residents.