The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have launched investigations into the shooting incident involving a senior police officer which led to the death of a student in Nakuru on Sunday.

According to reports, Bondeni OCS Eric Wekesa was leading a team of officers on an operation to flush out criminal gangs in Flamingo Ward when a standoff between the officers and a group of youth suspected to be gang members ensued.

Wekesa is alleged to have drawn his firearm when the group charged towards them, demanding the release of other youth who were arrested in the roundup and discharged a bullet that wounded one Ruth Waithera on her arm before hitting Whitney Atieno in the stomach.

According to a witness report, Wekesa shot in the air twice to scare the advancing group of youth forcing the crowd to scamper for safety when the stray bullet hit Waithera before wounding Atieno.

Upon realising what had happened, Wekesa called in for the patrol vehicle to evacuate the wounded girls to the hospital.

Atieno was rushed to Nakuru Level 5 Hospital where she, unfortunately, lost her life while receiving treatment.

Waithera, on the other hand, is still receiving treatment. However, doctors have hinted that her arm may need to be amputated following the extent of the injury.

The two unfortunate girls, both Form 4 students at Nakuru Central Secondary School were said to be about their business when they were caught up in the fracas.

Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui confirmed on Monday that the two investigation departments have taken up the matter while addressing an irate crowd of Flamingo Ward residents that marched to his office to seek the arrest of Wekesa on Monday.

Mbui promised the residents that the law will be followed when dealing with the matter and urged them not to take the law into their own hands.

“I want to urge all of you not to take matters into your own hands, the law will be followed to the letter and there is no doubt about that, no parent would wish to lose their children in such a manner,” Mbui said.

County Police Commander Beatrice Kiraguri who was also present termed the incident as saddening and emphasised that her officers would face the full force of the law if they were involved in the matter.

She appealed to the Flamingo Ward residents to exercise patience while the relevant authorities are handling the matter.

“We have gotten in touch with IPOA after the incident happened, that is what the law directs, since it’s an independent body we expect swift results, also, the DCI has opened a file and we need to give them time,” Kiraguri said.

The shooting incident came barely a fortnight after a similar incident in which police officers shot at protestors who were demonstrating at Masimba in Kajiado county over elephant invasion, killing 4 individuals.