Police Respond After Cops Caught on Camera Shooting Suspects in Pangani

  • Undated image of Pangani Police Station
    Undated image of Pangani Police Station
  • The National Police Service has contradicted reports alleging that its officers were recorded assassinating robbery suspects in an extra-judicial execution. 

    On Friday, March 18, the police service explained that their officers were responding to a robbery incident and that they managed to corner the suspects who were allegedly fleeing the crime scene.

    According to the NPS, the suspects failed to comply with police orders and also fired at the law enforcement officers promoting the police to return fire. This left two suspects dead.

    "Police officers from Pangani Police Station responded swiftly to the robbery with violence incident and cornered the two suspects who were fleeing on a motorbike after a chase along Thika Super Highway.

    A photo of Pangani Police Station entrance
    A photo of Pangani Police Station entrance

    "The suspects, who had robbed a woman at gunpoint in the Pangani area defied orders to surrender and instead, fired at police officers who promptly engaged them in self-defence. As a result, the two suspects were fatally shot," the statement read in part.

    The NPS added that crime scene personnel recovered one black revolver and six rounds of ammunition. They also recovered one brown knife and four smartphones from the suspects. 

    Notably, the case remains under active investigation with the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) announcing that the case was brought to its attention. 

    IPOA's Nairobi, chairperson Anne Makori, stated that the authority had the viral video in its possession and were looking into claims alleging that the officers ordered the suspects to lie on the tarmac road before firing at them at close range.

    The execution, reportedly conducted in the middle of a well-lit road, is said to have taken place on Thursday, March 18, after the officers arrested the two. The amateur video was recorded from the balcony of a nearby building.

    In the video, a white Probox vehicle is seen parked on the side of the road with its lights on. Eye-witnesses alleged that it belonged to the police who were in an undercover mission. 

    Having no other option and acting in self-defence, the officers neutralised the two suspects.

    Police have been accused of engaging in extra-judicial killings in the country, with civilians and human rights groups accusing them of applying excessive force on suspected criminals.

    A file image of guns and bullets
    A file image of guns and bullets

    Pangani Police Station was highlighted in a 2017, controversy report which indicated that a group of six police officers - christened The Pangani Six - was hunting down and executing suspects.

    In 2020, reports indicated that the officer would be transferred after the public outcry even as the National Police Service and the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) stated that they had opened investigations.

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