A lovers’ night at Masalani police quarters turned tragic when an enraged officer blew himself up with a hand grenade on realizing that he had stabbed his girlfriend to death during an altercation.
Preliminary reports into the incident indicated that the officer attached to Masalani Police Station in Ijara Sub-County detonated the explosive moments after killing the girlfriend during the midnight argument.
Panic gripped the residents when the loud bang explosion tore through the quiet night amid fears of possible attacks by the dreaded Al Shabaab terror group whose activities are a common occurrence at the far-flung sub-county.
Witnesses said officers at the station scampered for safety before taking cover at strategic spots only later to realize that it was one of their own who had detonated the explosive.
Ijara sub County police commander assistant superintendent of police Mr William Oyugi confirmed the incident saying he was woken up by the bang only to find the lifeless body of the officer and the lady (names withheld) in a pool of blood at the scene.
He said preliminary observation in the bedroom indicated that the girlfriend succumbed to stab wounds long before the officer took his own life by blowing himself up with a grenade.
Oyugi said chances were that the officer resorted to committing suicide out of desperation or regret after realizing that the lady had bled to death owing to the physical injuries. The officer had burns all over his body caused by shrapnel from the explosive.
He said the deceased officer had a troubled marriage after his wife and child left their matrimonial home and fled to Hola town on learning that her husband was allegedly having affairs with another woman.
Oyugi expressed fears that the officer might have overindulged in drinking before he picked a quarrel with the girlfriend adding that he had counselled officers to drink responsibly but some appeared to have ignored the advice.
He said the bodies were moved to Mwingi as there were no operational mortuary within the vicinity while the nearer morgue at Garissa County referral hospital was full.
He explained that the Masalani sub-County hospital, which is in a predominantly Muslim area, has no mortuary because Muslims are buried immediately after they passed on but a mortuary is urgently required to preserve the body of non-Muslim residents.
Oyugi said postmortem examinations will be done to know the cause of the deaths adding the investigations into the incident were opened and a full report would be released at a later date.