A police officer attached to Timau Police Station in Meru died by suicide inside the station, moments after leaving a suicide note to his lover.
In a police report obtained by Kenyans.co.ke on Friday, officers at the station heard a gunshot emanating from the house of Corporal Simon Gitonga.
Led by Sub-County Police Commander Buuri West and Deputy Officer Commanding Station, the officers rushed to the house and opened the door, finding Gitonga’s body lying in a pool of blood on the floor.
His gun, AK 47 rifle, was recovered by his side.
A police station in Kenya in a photo dated 2021
Preliminary investigations revealed that the officer had shot himself on the chin and the bullet exited through his upper right ear.
One empty cartridge and a suicide note were also recovered from the scene. In the suicide note, the officer alleged that he had been conned by a lover. The suspect is still at large.
Crime Scene and Investigations (CSI) Officers from the station processed and documented the scene.
Gitonga’s body was removed to Nanyuki Referral Mortuary awaiting post-mortem.
The incident highlights the alarming cases of suicide among law enforcement officers in the past year.
According to the latest data from the National Police Service (NPS), at least 12,000 officers are facing mental health issues as a result of work-related issues as they are often faced with high-pressure environments.
Other factors include family-related difficulties, relationships and high cost of living.
Counsellors, medics, and psychologists recommend seeking help whenever you experience any mental health issue. Call the Kenya Red Cross toll-free hotline, 1199, for support.
An image of a team of police officers arriving at a crime scene in Nairobi on December 8, 2021.