Suspect linked to shooting of NHIF employee arrested, rifle recovered
A suspect was on Monday arrested in connection with the shooting of National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) employee Lilian Waithera along Kaunda Street in Nairobi’s CBD.
The 38-year-old suspect, a licensed gun holder, and was traced by detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to his home in Kenol, Murang’a where he has been in the past week.
Nairobi Police Commander Mr Adamson Bungei confirmed the suspect’s name as Julius Kimani Mwangi. He however denied shooting Ms Waithera on February 13 as she walked home.
He told police he was in the CBD on that day and was carrying his rifle but he never fired a bullet. Police suspect the man discharged the gun by mistake and the single bullet hit Gathenya in the collar bone. The rifle has since been confiscated and handed over to the ballistic experts for analysis.
Witnesses said the man has a girlfriend in Jubilee Insurance Building which is where Ms Waithera was killed. He however denied going to the building that day.
Police are now trying to place him at the scene of the crime as part of the probe. Initially, police and pedestrians had thought Ms Waithera, 46, collapsed and died out of natural causes but an autopsy established that a bullet lodged in her lungs.
The bullet had been fired from an elevated angle and went into the body through the collar bone before stopping in the lungs. Blood was oozing from his mouth after she collapsed seeking for help.
Ms Waithera told witnesses at the scene that something had hit her. Other witnesses said they had heard a gun fire at that time but police said there were blood stains at the scene.
The body was moved from Nairobi Hospital to Kenyatta University mortuary where the postmortem was conducted by a group of pathologists who declared the case of death as shooting.
Ms Waithera was from her work place in Upper Hill and was headed home when the incident happened. Police ruled out claims of assassins in the incident.