Kenyan police officer killed after shooting at magistrate in Nairobi court

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Nairobi, Kenya | By Michael Wandati | A tragic incident unfolded in Nairobi’s court premises as a senior Kenyan police officer, identified as Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto, lost his life after he opened fire at Makadara Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti.

Police said the senior officer is an Officer Commanding Station in Kisumu.

He had traveled to Nairobi to attend a case in which his wife was a suspect, seeking her release pending a hearing and determination of the case.

The fatal altercation occurred shortly after Magistrate Kivuti delivered a ruling in a case allegedly involving Kipruto’s wife.

The officer’s fury was reportedly triggered by the court’s decision to revoke his wife’s bail due to her absence.

The court was sitting in a tent outside the main court precincts.

Crime scene where a police officer has been shot dead after shooting Magistrate and police at Makadara Law Courts on June 13, 2024

In a moment of escalating tension, Kipruto went behind the tent drew his firearm and shot the magistrate, causing injuries, Nairobi police boss Adamson Bungei said.

In a quick response from other officers present resulted in the fatal shooting of Kipruto.

“Other officers who were present responded and shot the officer fatally wounding him,” Bungei said.

Regrettably, three additional officers sustained injuries during the chaotic incident. Both the magistrate and the injured officers are currently receiving medical treatment in hospital.

The judiciary said the magistrate had “cancelled the bond for an accused person who had jumped bond and had failed to offer satisfactory explanations for jumping bond”.

“Immediately this decision was pronounced, a person shot at the magistrate and injured her on the hip,” it said in a statement.

Statement on shooting incident at Makadara Law Courts.

In preliminary findings, it was observed that “the shooter is a police officer who is married to the suspect.”

However, the national police service stated that the officer’s presence in court was for “unknown reasons.”

Reportedly, Kipruto’s wife was involved in a fraud case. She informed the court that her repeated absences were due to her suffering from cancer.

However, the magistrate canceled her bond for skipping court sessions and ordered her to be remanded until June 27. This decision prompted the accused to call her husband, who arrived at the court armed.

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Investigations are ongoing to unravel the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The occurrence of such an incident within a courtroom has deeply unsettled Kenyan citizens.

While the police have faced accusations of extrajudicial killings in the past, incidents within courtrooms have been unprecedented.

In response to the alarming event, the judiciary has pledged to bolster security measures, assuring judicial staff and court users of their safety and protection.

“As the judiciary family, we wish our colleague a quick recovery. We also send our condolences to the family of the officer who lost his life in this unfortunate incident,” said chief registrar of the judiciary Winfridah Mokaya.