Police deny executing three robbery suspects in city centre
Police shot dead three robbery suspects at a petrol station on Kenyatta Avenue on Thursday night, in what eye witnesses termed as outright execution.
But Nairobi county police commander Japheth Koome told the Nairobi News that the three suspects were armed and had robbed a couple along Chania Road.
The suspects were pursued by police officers and shot dead at Shell petrol station on Kenyatta Avenue, opposite the General Post Office.
Eye witness who talked to Nairobi News at the scene of crime on Friday, but who wished to remain anonymous, said the three men were unarmed civilians who were just fueling their car.
“These three people came here to fuel their car, then another car came and parked behind them and they (the suspects) were told to come out of their car and lie down. The next thing we heard were gun shots,” one eye witness said.
A second eye witness told Nairobi News that the police officers cordoned off the petrol station after shooting the suspects and conducted a search on the car.
“They told us to move away from the area and told us not to take any pictures. Then one of them started making calls and within minutes more than a dozen unmarked cars surrounded the station,” he said.
“The only gunshots we heard were from the police officers,” a third eye witness added.
Mr Koome dismissed claims that the three suspects were unarmed civilians and insisted that they were on a robbing spree near the Yaya center.
The suspects had waylaid an American couple and injured the woman during the robbery, he said
“Our officers were alerted by the public that there was a certain car that was occupied by three men and were robbing people near Yaya center,” Mr Koome said.
He added that the suspects were armed with a firearm, an Ekol Tuna pistol, that is not used by the police in Kenya.
“When the car was searched, my officers recovered several items which included American passports, US dollars and several ATM cards belonging to other people,” he said.
Mr Koome said they have intensified patrols around the city to curb crime and terror threats.
“We cannot allow innocent people to be terrorised by a few individuals who want to reap were they never sowed. It will not happen under my watch,” he said.