How 20-year-old Kenyan man was shot dead while shopping in the US
Around Christmas last year, a Kenyan mother living with her family in the US, posted a well-thought message condemning gun violence in the state she lives in with her family.
Little did she know that, two months later, in a strange twist of fate, her 20-year-old son would meet his tragic death through gun violence .
“We had such a peaceful Christmas and focused on the Kenyan flag and peace in Kenya after the 2022 election. And now we pray for a safe Charlottesville Virginia! Let’s say no to gun violence!” the mother wrote in message that was posted during Christmas.
Her son, Justice Kigen Kilel, was shot dead on March 4, 2023 while shopping in a supermarket in Virginia.
According to local news reports, officers from Charlottesville Police Department (CPD) responded to a shooting at Sunshine Supermarket around 2pm.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that Kilel was inside the store purchasing an item when an altercation ensued between him and two individuals before the shooting occurred. When police responded to the shooting, Kilel was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police station was later notified that UVA Medical Center had received a patient who suffered a gunshot wound. The 17-year-old suspect, who was admitted has since been charged with second-degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
However, the police have not released his name since he is a minor.
The second suspect, identified as 19-year-old Nasier McGhee, who was arrested at an apartment complex in Albemarle County, has been charged with one count of malicious wounding.
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“Investigators believe that this incident is part of an ongoing dispute between the suspects and victim,” the police said.
Kilel will be buried in Kapsirchoi, Kapsabet, Kenya. His family have set up a GoFundMe account to raise funds to enable them transport the body to Kenya and for his burial. The family is seeking to raise Sh4.5 million (US$35,000) towards the burial.
The mother of the deceased said her son was a climate change activist, who believed in green farming and healthy living. In her Facebook page, she also shared a video of Kilel preparing a vegetable garden with a hoe.
She also shared another photo taken during Christmas last year.