Police constable shoots dead a prison officer in Kitale after altercation


• The Police constable also shot and injured himself in an attempted suicide, police said.

Police officer with a gun

A police constable on Tuesday shot dead a prison warder at a wine and spirit joint in Kitale Town.

The officer also shot and injured himself in an attempted suicide, police said.

It is not clear what triggered the shooting during the 3.50 pm incident at the drinking joint a stone throw away from Kitale Law Courts.

The suspect armed with a pistol, opened fire at the warder after quarrelling over an unknown issue, witnesses said.

Some customers at the joint, including another prison warder, fled the scene after the officer shot his colleague in fear of being targeted.

The warder, who is a driver, was waiting to ferry remandees from the Law Court to Kitale Main prison, police said.

The lorry with the remandees was driven by another warden, police said.

People operating businesses near the joint closed them and ran for their safety as the rogue officer shot the warder and threatened to harm anybody person near the scene, witnesses said.

Some officers who had arrived near the scene tried to plead with the officer who was known to them to surrender without success.

They, however, realised he was on the ground wreathing in pain and bleeding.

The officers disarmed the constable before handcuffing him and bundled him into the vehicle and rushed him to Kitale County Hospital with wounds to his hand and leg.

Trans Nzoia County Commissioner Gideon Oyagi and Trans Nzoia West police boss Patrick Gaitariria visited the scene.

They termed the incident unfortunate and announced investigations are ongoing to establish the motive.

The body of the prison officer was taken to Kitale County morgue.

Officials said this could be linked to trauma, which is the leading cause of death among police and prison officers.

They are expected to maintain law and order in very difficult situations, besides putting their lives at risk. Over the years, a spike in deaths in the service has been linked to trauma.

Efforts are being made to address the trend, officials say.

Dozens of police officers have died as a result of suicide or killed many in a trend that is attributed to stress at work.

As part of efforts to address the trend, police authorities have launched counselling services and the National Police Service Commission has established a unit and staffed it to attend to their demanding situation.

The counselling unit will, among other things, evaluate, design and lead an outreach programme that helps prevent mental health and substance abuse.

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