Autopsy reveals Nakuru girl, 19, died of single gunshot to the chest

Witney Atieno, 19, a Form Four student at the Nakuru Central Secondary School who was allegedly shot by police officers who were on their routine patrol in Lake View estate Nakuru East constituency, Nakuru County. Atieno succumbed to injuries while receiving treatment at the Nakuru Teaching and Referral Hospital.

Photo credit: Courtesy

The form four student who died in Nakuru last week had a single gunshot to her chest, autopsy has revealed. 

Whitney Atieno, 19, was allegedly shot by police officers on routine patrol in Lake view estate, Nakuru Town East constituency on June, 12 in an incident that sparked protest among residents.

Government Pathologist Dr Titus Ngulungu said in the autopsy report that the bullet went through the front part of abdomen and exited on the lower back.

Dr Ngulungu, who conducted the autopsy at the Nakuru Teaching and referral hospital mortuary on Thursday afternoon, reported that the body had no other significant injuries.

He described the morphology of the wound as that resulting from a close-range discharge, estimated to be not more than 50 metres.

“As a result of my examination, I have formed the opinion that the cause of death was massive blood loss due to a single gunshot to the abdomen,” noted the pathologist.

The procedure was conducted in the presence of her aunt Ms Eunice Ogol, the independent Policing Oversight Authority, IPOA officers and human rights activists.

Leornard Ogunyo (left) with Mr David Kuria a human rights activist at the Nakuru Level five hospital morgue during the postmortem of Whitney Atieno,19, who was shot by Police officers in Lakeview estate, Nakuru County

Photo credit: Mercy Koskei | Nation Media Group

Whitney's father Mr Leornard Ogunyo said he could not oversee her second-born daughter's postmortem and requested her aunt to do so on his behalf.

The 54-year-old Matatu tout said that on the day of the incident he was at work at the showground terminus stage where he has been working for the past two years, only to reach home and met the devastating news.

He said that he was informed that her daughter had been shot by police officers who were on patrol in the area, and that she had been rushed to the hospital while bleeding profusely.

At the hospital, Mr Ogunyo said he saw his daughter coming out of the emergency room as she was wheeled to the ward since she needed further medical attention but they never spoke.

Not to cry

According to Mr Ogunyo, he was later allowed to visit her in the ward where the two conversed saying that his daughter told him not to cry assuring that she will be well.

"In the ward doctors assured me that she was in stable condition and that she would be taken to the theater for an operation to see the damage left by the bullet. I left Whitney under her sister’s care and went home only for her to call me before I reached the main gate," said the 54- year old.  

According to Mr Ogunyo, Whitney was a quiet and humble girl who never picked quarrels with anyone, even preferring to leave in cases where someone wronged her.

He said that she was an average student and dreamed of being a doctor in the future so that she helps her other siblings.

Mr Leornard Ogunyo (Right) at the Nakuru Level five hospital morgue during the postmortem of her daughter Whitney Atieno ,19, who was shot by Police officers in Lakeview estate, Nakuru County. On the left is his brother Mr Christopher Odipo

Photo credit: Mercy Koskei | Nation Media Group

Mr Ogunyo urged detectives to expedite investigations and arrest perpetrators for their kin to get justice.

"I had five children but now remained with three. Her elder sister passed on after falling sick and now Whitney is no more. I have since recorded statements with the DCI detectives and I am just waiting for the way forward.

The family pleaded with well-wishers to help in giving their daughter a befitting sendoff saying that she will be buried July 2 in Ukwala Sub-County siaya county.

Mr David Kuri, a human rights defender based in Nakuru County urged the DCI to conduct thorough investigations.

He regretted that the young soul was killed by people who were meant to protect her life saying that officers should be extra careful when conducting their operations.

"We are calling upon the Inspector General of police to have the case investigated and the officer who was involved be arrested for the family to get justice. The police should help the public and not kill them,' he said.

On the day of the incident, Whitney had gone to a salon 10 meters from their home to plait her hair in preparation for school on Monday, when she was attracted by a commotion outside together with Ruth Waithera.

While outside a police officer who was identified by residents as the Commanding officer of Bondeni Police station is said to have fired shooting Whitney and Waithera.

The two were rushed to Nakuru Teaching and Referral Hospital where Whitney succumbed to her injury.

Waithera is still recuperating at a hospital within the city and in stable condition.

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