A police officer in Kenya killed his wife and five others in a rampage before taking his own life, authorities said.
The officer, identified as Police Constable Benson Imbasi, went on a “killing spree” in Kabete, outside the capital Nairobi, in the early morning hours of Tuesday, Kenya’s Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said on Twitter.
Imbasi, who was described as a “rogue” officer, first shot his wife in the neck with his AK-47 rifle before walking out of their home and “shooting at innocent members of the public frenziedly,” the DCI said. The rifle was his service-issued weapon.
Three of the men killed were mourners who had just attended preparations for a funeral, the DCI said.
Imbasi then turned his rifle on two motorcycle taxi riders before he later took his own life. The Star newspaper reported that responding police officers surrounded a house, but then heard a gunshot and later discovered Imbasi had shot himself in the neck.
Two other people who were wounded remain in critical condition, according to the DCI.
A motive for the killings was not immediately clear. Francis Wahome, the officer in charge of Nairobi’s Dagoretti area, told Reuters that there had there had been no prior concerns about Imbasi before the killings.
“Until now, we never had any concerns about the officer’s behavior,” Wahome said. “He had been going for duty properly, and had never been involved in an incident like this.”
According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), the officer had argued with his wife prior to the shootings.
“We are told that the couple had issues and were quarrelling before,” Wahome told the news agency.
Lameck Alaka, a resident of Dagoretti, told Reuters that a car he believed belonged to the police drove past him and stopped for about 20 minutes.
“Then he got out, and we saw it was Mr. Ben,” Alaka said, referring to Imbasi. “He came out with an AK-47, cocked it and started firing at us where we were with the boda boda (motorcycle) riders.”
Alaka said other motorcycle riders later came running to him saying the officer had killed two other men. “They said the shooter wasn’t speaking; he was just shooting, and we know it is a police officer,” he said.
The shootings prompted unrest in the area on Tuesday, with protesters barricading roads and lighting bonfires.
Officers also had to stop people from trying to break into the local police station hours after the shootings, according to a video posted on Twitter by The Nation newspaper.