A police officer has died and two others are nursing serious injuries after an attack by a suspected armed robber in Pap Onditi, Nyakach sub-county.
The three were in a group of officers who raided a block of apartments where the suspect lives.
The officers were pursuing the suspected armed robber, whom they had tracked down to the building, said Nyakach sub-county Police Commander Daniel Chacha.
"The suspect, a young man, engaged the officers in a shootout before fleeing the scene on foot," Mr Chacha said.
While a copy of a police report seen by the Nation said one of the officers was shot dead, Mr Chacha denied it, saying all the three officers were in a fair condition and were treated.
"Three of our officers [were injured] and are responding positively to treatment at Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital,” Mr Chacha said.
He said the suspect had been involved in a series of criminal activities in Homa Bay, Kisumu and Migori counties.
"The individual is a very dangerous criminal. We are in hot pursuit and will catch up with him soon," he said.
Some residents reported hearing gunshot sounds coming from the apartment block at 3am. The site is about 100 metres from the police station.
Mr Chacha said the darkness helped the suspect to escape.
Resident Frederick Otieno said some locals rushed towards the scene after they heard gunshots and met a man with bruises on his knees and tattered clothes
"He said that he was a police officer pursuing a criminal who was behind the gunshots. He also had a short black gun," Mr Otieno said.
He added: “He later escaped on a motorcycle, which was waiting nearby."
The caretaker of the apartment building said the suspect moved in a week ago.
He said the man identified himself as Ezekiel Angweso. He first visited the building on September 18 and moved in five days later after paying one month’s rent.
The tenant told him that he sold second-hand clothes.
He was with a woman that he identified as his wife but he was rarely seen.
"He would leave the two-bedroom house every morning and return late in the night, while sometimes he slept out," the caretaker said.
On Thursday, September 29, he called the caretaker and asked him not to lock the gate as he would come home late, a request the caretaker declined.
"I told him I would open the gate when he arrived. The police officers visited the building five hours after he arrived," he said.