The youngest of the suspects killed by police officers in Nakuru last week was shot nine times, while the other three had two gunshots each; post mortem on their bodies has revealed.
Collins Kibet, 16, was shot twice in the head, twice in the chest and once in the palm, while Collins Kipkorir, 21, Kevin Kipyegon, 20 and Dennis Kipchirchir, 23 succumbed to gunshots to the chests and heads.
Human Rights activists who oversaw the autopsy in Nakuru on Wednesday said that the patterns of gunshot wounds depict that the shooting may have been done by the same person, using the same gun.
Haki Africa Executive Director Hussein Khalid insisted that the killing of the four in Barut in Nakuru West last Thursday was another case of extrajudicial execution by the police.
“We all support the government’s efforts to flush out criminals and get rid of gangs, but it should be within the precincts of the law. Police should have instead, arrested those boys and presented them in a court of law; not kill them,” Mr Khalid said.
Mr Khalid who was flanked by representatives of other human rights groups among them Center for Enhancing Democracy and Good Governance (CEDGG), MIDRIFT and Missing voices from Amnesty International said that the country has existing laws and ways of dealing with criminals.
The human rights groups said that they would conduct thorough investigations, gather evidence and propose the prosecution of culpable officers.
“The lives of Kenyans should be protected and defended and we are demanding that the officers involved are arrested immediately and they must face the law,
“What we want to tell the ministry of interior Dr Matiangi and security officials is that as human rights organizations and civil society we fully support the fights against crime and insecurity, no one wants criminals going around attacking and killing women but the manner in which you fight the insecurity cannot be through cold blood execution. That is not how you fight it,” he said.
The postmortem on the bodies of the four, among them brothers- Kevin and Dennis- showed that they were shot at close range. The autopsy was led by Government Pathologist, Titus Ngulungu.
During the procedure, the pathologists retrieved two bullets that had lodged in the bodies of two youths, and the defenders said that the bullets would be presented to the Independent Police Oversight Authority(IPOA) who will undertake further investigations.
Kipchirchir's body had a gunshot wound on the left side of the chest and another wound on the left side of the head which damaged his brain. A bullet was retrieved from his skull. He also had bruises on the forehead.
Kipyegon had bruises on his face and a gunshot wound entry at the left ear and exit gunshot wound on the right upper neck with another gunshot wound on the right side of the chest and left side of the body.
Kipkorir, Mr Khalid said, had one wound on the left side of the chest near the shoulder and another wound on the head with a lodged bullet.
The pathologist noted that the causes of death were gunshots which damaged some organs and tissues in the body causing excessive bleeding
Nakuru-based human right defender Mr Vincent Tanui, regretted that the four were killed by officers who should have arrested them. He said the account of events by the families and neigbours indicate that the four were rounded up from their homes and killed as evident from the accounts of families and neighbors.
Mr Tanui called on the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, DCI, and other investigating agencies to conduct thorough investigation to ensure the victims’ families get justice.
Nicholas Koech, brother to Kibet said that his brother died a painful death after he was sprayed with five bullets.
Nakuru County Police Commander, Peter Mwanzo maintains that the four- whom he says were members of the ‘Nyuki Gang’- were shot as they attacked police officers on patrol with machetes.
“Officers on patrol were confronted by the gang and there was an exchange of fire and four of the gang members were fatally shot,” he said on the morning after the shooting.
However, families and neighbours of the boys have reiterated that they were innocent, and that they had been pulled out of their homes peacefully by police in uniform, and were converged in one point and shot.
Even though Mr Mwanzo reiterates that the four were shot on the road, Nation has acquired pictures of three of them dead, inside a house. Nation also found bullet caliber holes inside the house.