Kenya: Mwiki Boy Was Shot at Close Range, Bullet Pierced Through the Heart - Autopsy

22 January 2020

Nairobi — An autopsy on the body of Stephen Machurusi, the 17-year-old boy shot dead by police last week in Sunton area within Kasarani, has revealed that he died due to trauma caused by a gunshot.

The bullet, which entered from the chest and exited in the back, pierced through his heart, without causing injuries to the ribs. He died on the spot.

The preliminary report indicates the boy, who was caught up in the melee that had ensued during protests over the poor state of Kasarani-Mwiki road while going back home from work, was shot dead at close range. This is corroborated by multiple interviews we had conducted with multiple witnesses, who told us that Stephen was shot while on his knees, pleading for mercy.

"As a result of my examination, I formed the opinion that the cause of death was chest injury due to high-velocity trauma due to a gunshot," reads the autopsy report, seen by Capital News.

The grief-stricken family members who witnessed the exercise on Tuesday alongside officers from the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) said the motive was clear that the killer cop did not want to spare Machurusi's life.

The slain boy's mother Esther Wangui has called for justice over what she describes as "unnecessary death" of her only son, for whom she had planned to hold a surprise party for managing to get a C plus in his secondary school examinations, KCSE.

"It is clear the officer wanted to kill my boy," Wangui told Capital News.

Not even her father nor her siblings knew about the surprise party, Wangui said.

"I was planning a surprise party since I felt that he had performed very well," Wangui whose voice has since turned hoarse due to crying said.

Machurusi joins worrying statistics of hundreds of youths executed by police every year, more so those from poor backgrounds in the urban areas.

While reports by organisations fighting extra-judicial killings indicate those killed are merely suspected of engaging in crime, Machurusi's case is different.

On Monday, Wangui during an interview with Capital News recounted her last moments with her last-born child.

When she spoke to her son, he promised to make a call later because he was busy at work, unaware that would have been the last time.

The next call she received was rather disturbing. It was coming from her daughter Lilian Waringa, with sad news that Machurusi had been shot. No immediate details were given on his fate.

"I just started shaking," she told Capital News during an interview at her rental home in Sunton area, within Kasarani, ahead of a postmortem on Machurusi's body on Tuesday at the City Mortuary.

From a distance, she saw a large crowd milling around something; "could he be the one lying on the floor?" she thought to herself.

She then pushed through the crowd until she set her eyes on the lifeless body of her son, who had some white substance on her lips- which Capital News established that it was some glucose given to him by boda-boda operators, in a futile effort to save his life.

"I knelt down, screamed loudly and then lost my consciousness," a teary Wangui recalled.

Her son died while she was still healing from the recent loss of her father.

"I don't know what is happening in my life. I have been battling pain for losing a dad and now I have lost my only son," she said.

"Police should not use live bullets on people who are protesting. My son was not even part of the group he was just caught up in the melee," she said.

Though fear-stricken, those who spoke to Capital FM News on January 16 said they can positively identify the police officer who pulled the trigger.

The victim is said to have tripped and fallen while escaping from the anti-riot officers who were charging towards a crowd.

Unlike his counterparts who were don in anti-riot gear, the witnesses said the killer cop, based in Sunton Police Post was on civilian clothes.

"He fell down as people were escaping and despite surrendering, he was shot on his chest," a Matatu operator who did not want to be named, on this article said, for fear of victimization.

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