Police officer shoots colleague dead, injures senior after quarrel in Meru

Eastern police boss Rono Bunei said they have launched a manhunt for the suspect

In Summary

• The injured officer was rushed to a local hospital and is in stable condition. 

• Chumba is accused of shooting and killing constable Pontianas Ikumoli, 22. 

Crime scene.
CRIME SCENE: Crime scene.

A police officer shot and killed his colleague before injuring his senior in yet another bizarre incident at a police camp in Meru County.

Constable Abel Chumba of Kaongo Kampio General Service Unit camp in Meru County is missing after the Tuesday night incident.

He ran away with his rifle loaded with at least 17 bullets but police said the officer was arrested on Wednesday morning and is G3 rifle recovered.

Officials said they intend to charge him with murder.

Chumba is accused of shooting and killing constable Pontianas Ikumoli, 22. He was shot in the head.

The officer also shot and seriously injured Inspector Michael Ngugi before he disappeared to an unknown destination.

Police authorities said they had not established the motive behind the 9 pm incident.

Eastern police boss Rono Bunei had earlier on said they were looking for the officer to explain what triggered the shooting.

The injured officer was rushed to a local hospital and is in stable condition. He was injured in the left hand.

Police who visited the scene said they collected 13 spent cartridges.

This is the latest incident involving police officers turning against each other.

Authorities are concerned with the increasing cases and have ordered commanders to always pay attention to their juniors’ state in general.

On Sunday, February 19, a police officer shot and killed his wife before he turned the gun on himself in a suspected murder-suicide incident in Migori Town.

Police said they are investigating the incident where constable Anthony Mwangi Njuguna, 29, is believed to have shot and killed his wife Maureen Moraa Kiriago, 27, in their house.

A total of 17 spent cartridges were recovered from the house.

Tens of police officers have in the past year been killed and injured in similar circumstances where officers use their issued guns to target the victims before also killing themselves.

Officials said they are making efforts to address the trend that has been blamed on stress and trauma.

As part of efforts to address the menace, police authorities have rolled out a counselling programme targeting the officers.

The National Police Service Commission announced it had established the counselling unit, which will, among others things, evaluate, design, and lead an outreach programme to deal with mental health problems and substance abuse.

The programme is also aimed at assisting clients or families affected by mental health, substance abuse issues and trauma to overcome the challenges.

Inspector General of police Hilary Mutyambai had 2019 launched a new programme — Muamko Mpya-Healing the Uniform Initiative — to give psychological support to officers.

“The ultimate goal of the initiative is to provide officers with knowledge, tools and a framework to assist them to support each other while handling traumatic situations,” Mutyambai said.

“They encounter most of these situations on personal and professional levels.”

There is also a deliberate drive to destigmatise mental illness and stress and to actively reach out to potential cases.

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