Police will open charges against a civilian licensed gun holder in connection with the death of a 16-year-old primary school boy on New Year’s Day in Kwale County.
County Police Commander Mr. Kenneth Kimani said the deceased, Ruwa Mwaruwa, was hit by a stray bullet from a Ceska Pistol belonging to the suspect, James Matheka, who was practising with the gun at home in Patanani village, Tsimba location of Matuga Sub-County.
The boy who was to join class eightin 2016 at Mlunguni Primary School in Kinango Sub County was struck by the bullet while seated outside their house with his grand-mother at 3pm.
Mr. Kimani said the suspect who was arrested Sunday is a licensed gun holder and a director of a Mombasa-based private security company.
“The suspect is still in police custody and will be taken to court in connection with the incident once investigations are over,” said Mr. Kimani.
Although the police boss could not immediately confirm the offences that will be preferred against the suspect, he is likely to face a murder charge and that of carelessly handling a gun.
According to area Chief Mr. Said Mwakafani, the victim was helping his grandmother Ms. Mkambe Lugogo to make ropes when the tragedy struck. The deceased has since been buried at his family home in Kinango.
Mr. Mwakafani said that tension has been high in the area with some locals threatening to attack Mr.Matheka whom they accused of engaging in gun practicing sessions despite neighbors’ protests against the danger it poses to the public.
Mr. Mwakafani urged the angry villagers to remain calm as detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations had launched investigations.
“My appeal to locals is that they should stay calm but at the same time the officers who are investigation this matter should ensure that justice prevails,” he said.
The grandmother sadly recounted how the life of her grandson who had visited to spend the long Christmas holiday with her came to a tragic end. “He collapsed from his chair from the impact of the gunshot and died as I watched helplessly,” she said while struggling to contain tears.
As the boy’s family calls for justice, Ms. Lugogo recalled how she almost fell victim of their armed neighbour’s shooting sprees. “A bullet from his gun once missed her narrowly while she was cultivating her farm,” she claimed.
“The moment my grandson was shot I knew it was Mr. Matheka and together with other villagers we rushed to his house where he ordered his guards to deny us access,” she said.
Five used bullet cartridges were found in his compound and upon interrogation by police officers Mr. Matheka admitted having fired the bullets to hit a specified target.
The deceased was expected to return home on Sunday in readiness for the beginning of a new and final academic in primary school but instead his family received his dead body.
By Hiram Mwalaa/James Muchai