Kenya police officer ‘goes berserk,’ kills 7 colleagues

Tom Odula Associated Press

Nairobi, Kenya — A Kenyan police officer shot and killed seven colleagues, including a hostage response team member, before the standoff ended in a shootout, a police report said Thursday.

The suspect, Abdihakim Maslah, was shot, according to a report provided to The Associated Press.

Police at first suspected an extremist with the al-Shabab group based in neighboring Somalia, saying he wore a “turban that covered his whole face.”

The police report said Maslah, a station guard, got off work Wednesday night but returned to the Kapenguria station shortly after 5 a.m. Thursday and started shooting.

A separate police statement to the media said the officer “for yet unknown reasons, went berserk and grabbed a firearm.”

Police commandos were deployed to rescue prisoners held at the station and end the standoff, Kenya’s police chief, Joseph Boinnet, said before the crisis ended.

Boinnet said the gunman’s escape was “thwarted by quick arrival by other officers.”

All but one of the officers killed worked at the station. The station commander was among them, West Pokot County Commissioner Wilson Wanyanga said.