Kenya courtroom shootout kills police officer, injures judge

Kenya courtroom shootout kills police officer, injures judge

Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti shot by officer raise concerns about judicial security

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) - A judge in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi was wounded Thursday in a courtroom shooting by a police officer, along with three court employees.

The officer was killed, leaving the courtroom in shock and chaos.

Chief Inspector Samson Kipchirchir Kipruto was identified as the officer who opened fire in Court Number 9 shortly after Principal Magistrate Monica Kivuti delivered a ruling regarding his wife that said she must be remanded into custody pending the provision of a probation report in a case involving obtaining land by false pretenses.

“The Judiciary strongly condemns this act of violence and calls upon the national security agencies to respond to this occurrence with utmost urgency and sensitivity,” Kenya’s Chief Justice Martha Koome said in a statement. “The perpetrator forcibly entered Court through the Magistrate’s entrance and fired shots at Hon. Kivuti injuring her severally on the chest and pelvic area. It is clear that the intention of the perpetrator was to kill the Magistrate.”

Koome added that the shooting raised concerns about judicial security as a court orderly and two officers who tried to remove the magistrate from the courtroom also sustained gunshot wounds.

She noted that the incident occurred in a public court of law, exposing judicial officers, court users and members of the public to a serious threat of attack and injury.

Koome said people across the country are not allowed to access court premises while armed, except for officers properly accredited to provide security at specified court stations.

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