Eleven police officers attached to the Merti Police Station, Isiolo County were on Tuesday attacked by an armed gang suspected to be drug traffickers.
According to a police report, the officers had been patrolling the Matarba, Nanu, and Cutline areas in the station’s Land Cruiser at 7:00 pm when the gang ambushed them and opened fire.
During the attack, a police constable was fatally wounded, with the bullet entering from the left side of his body and exiting on the right side of his abdomen.
One officer suffered a gunshot wound to his left thigh, while a third officer sustained an injury to the left knee, with a lodged bullet.
Police officers during an operation in Nairobi in February 2021.
Nonetheless, seven officers emerged without injuries.
Following the shootout, the gang fled the scene allowing the officers to retreat back towards Malkagala area and head to the station.
The police Land Cruiser sustained damage, including bullet holes in the right door and an oil leak.
The injured officers were taken to Merti Sub-County hospital and subsequently referred to Isiolo County Referral Hospital.
Arrangements are underway to move the body of the deceased officer to a morgue in Meru County for preservation.
This incident highlights the conditions that police officers face while carrying out their duties.
According to data from the Interior Ministry, 57 police officers died in the line of duty in 2022.
This included 30 from the Kenya Police, 19 from the Administration Police, four from the Kenya Prisons Service and three from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Interior CS Kindiki, in December 2022, stressed the need to put more measures in place to prevent some of the deaths, including relooking the policy of posting junior officers to high-risk areas.
Kindiki said the junior officers should only be sent to hot zones after gaining three years of field experience.
A photo of Interior CS Kithure Kindiki during a meeting with security and local administration officials in Mandera County on Thursday, July 6, 2023.