The police have have apologised for the killing of the son of a billionaire businessman in a raid on his home.
Spokesman George Kinoti said the Kenya Police Service regrets the killing of Bunty Shah, 32, at his residence in Westlands, Nairobi, during an anti-terror operation.
“We regret the unfortunate death and wish to assure the public a thorough inquiry into the circumstances of the shooting has been instituted,” he said.
Kinoti said that on October 21, at about 4pm, police obtained information indicating unidentified individuals were plotting to stage multiple attacks in Nairobi using weapons kept in an unoccupied house along Peponi Road.
“Having evaluated the information, a quick check confirmed there was indeed such a building along that physical address adjacent to other properties that were occupied,” Kinoti said.
He added: "In view of the imminent danger to public security, a thorough check of the unoccupied property became necessary and had to be done immediately.
“Unfortunately, during the operation, the officers came under fire from the balcony of a building across. The unidentified person continued firing even after being cautioned, forcing the officers to respond. In the ensuing exchange of fire, the individual, who has been identified as Bunty Shah, was fatally injured.”
Kinoti said the police always endeavour to verify information obtained from the public before responding. However, in this instance, considering the magnitude of the threat and the fact that the building was unoccupied, there was no room for further delay, he said.
The unoccupied room police claim they were raiding was a store cum servant quarter for the family house. It is in the same compound as the main house.
Bunty, the only son of Bobmil Industries owner Vipim Shah, was shot while standing at the window of his bedroom. He had shot twice in the air to scare away the intruders, who had initially broken into the compound and started to destroy property.
A team of police officers in an armoured vehicle, and who were masked, had burst into Bunty's home at the junction of Peponi and General Mathenge roads.
A guard was also seriously injured in the face after the gate hit him. He is in hospital in a stable condition.
Witnesses said the officers, in one armoured vehicle and three four-wheel-drive cars, arrived at the compound at about 3 am Sunday.
They knocked at the gate and sought to get in. When the guard asked who they were, they used the armoured vehicle to force the gate open, injuring the guard. They smashed a door to one of the servants’ quarters and security lights. A grenade safety pin was recovered in the compound.
The disturbance and noise woke Bunty up. His uncle, Kiru Shah, said Bunty was at home with his wife, six-month-old baby boy, mother, and grandmother.
“He heard the commotion and noise in the compound, woke up, and stood near the window. He shot twice in the air, perhaps to scare away the intruders,” said Kiru.
One of the officers fired a single shot and hit Bunty in the chest. Bunty was taken to the nearby MP Shah Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.