Lilian Waithera's death along Kaunda Street on Monday, February 13, led to a number of theories surrounding the incident even as detectives probed whether a sniper was involved.
In a bid to understand the sniper theory, Kenyans.co.ke, reached out to a security expert, George Musamali, who intimated that the involvement of a sniper was possible given the facts established regarding the incident so far.
However, he stated that there were three questions that needed to be answered by detectives in the course of their investigation to determine whether Lilian was targeted.
- Was Kaunda Street her daily route?
- Was she lured to that spot?
- What was the caliber (diameter of a gun barrel)?
Musamali explained that the answers to the three questions would explain the following elements of the case;
Chokepoint - A point of blockage
The expert indicated that it was prudent to establish whether Lilian used Kaunda Street daily when heading home. He stated that a sniper could have monitored her movements over time and struck at the opportune moment.
"The trajectory of the bullet is from above meaning that there was a high possibility that there was someone laying in wait. What we should try to piece together is whether that was her normal route every day," Musamali explained.
He added that there was also a possibility that Waithera may have been led to the chokepoint if there was indeed foul play.
Why Did No One Hear the Gunshot?
According to the autopsy report, Lilian had a bullet in her lungs. This made the incident mysterious given that nobody at the scene reported hearing a gunshot.
“Lilian and I were walking side by side. She just stopped and asked me to call for her an ambulance then fell down. I did not hear any gunshots,” Damaris Achieng’ - who was in the company of Lilian - stated.
However, the security expert explained that it was possible that the sniper could have either used a silencer or a point 22 (.22 rifle).
Musamali explained that with all the noise in the street, it would be difficult to hear the sound of a gunshot given that .22 sounds like a clap when fired.
In most cases when point 22 is used, the bullet enters the body and does not exit from the other side as was in the case of Lilian. Nonetheless, he stated that the type of gun used would be answered by determining the calibre.
Preservation of Crime Scene
Musamali opined that the crime scene was mismanaged given that the area was not cordoned off by the police after the incident. Police cordoned off the area on February 16 - three days after the incident.
He stated that experts needed to have been at the scene to document various details that would help in the investigations. However, he noted that a suspect could still be traced in any event.
"There is no way that a criminal will clear all his footprints. There is always something that will lead people to that criminal," he stated.
Snipers in Kenya
The security expert revealed that there were a number of trained snipers in the country given that security agencies trained several officers on the lethal skill.
"We have people who have left the service under different circumstances but are highly trained but definitely, this must have been a trained hand," he stated.
According to the police, investigators were chasing two theories - murder and misadventure. Misadventure is death caused unintentionally when someone is performing a legal act hence the talk of a stray bullet.
Nairobi Regional Police Commander Adamson Bungei intimated that they were focusing on two buildings along the street where the shot may have been fired from.
“Two theories that we are pursuing are either a possible murder or where a gun holder recklessly dislodges a bullet from an elevated angle and accidentally lands on an innocent person,’’ a detective stated.
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