- Nairobi Police Commander Japheth Koome said many criminal gangs have female members.
- The woman and a man who were shooting at the police were killed while the other two escaped on foot.
At 3.16am on Wednesday, undercover police officers in Kayole, Nairobi, received a message from a colleague on their WhatsApp group.
Four suspects who had escaped their dragnet on Manyanja Road at 11pm were in Lower Chokaa, on Kangundo Road, he said.
The officer had been called by a greengrocer, who informed him that four people, including a woman, were robbing residents.
Some officers did not see the message and so he called members of his company, one by one.
They then called their driver to pick them up and asked for reinforcement from uniformed colleagues on night patrol.
The description of the gang was familiar — four men and a woman, and they wore the same clothes the officers had seen a few hours earlier.
The gang was elusive and the officers had to carefully plan how to ambush it, even though they did not have sufficient information on the mode of transport the four were using.
When the police officers arrived in Chokaa, the four suspects attempted to escape.
The officers fired in the air, ordering them to surrender, but two of them who had pistols began firing back, according to the police.
The woman and a man who were shooting at the police were killed while the other two escaped on foot.
The dead woman was still clutching a Beretta pistol, which had six rounds of ammunition, police said.
Its serial number had been obliterated.
There were seven spent cartridges at the scene, police added.
Kayole OCPD Joseph Gichangi said his officers took the two bodies to City Mortuary.
“According to our sources, the woman was the wife of a well-known robbery suspect, who is at large,” Mr Gichangi said, adding that the police were looking for the escapees. “We will definitely arrest them.”
Mr Gichangi said that cases of women being recruited into criminal gangs are on the rise.
After the shooting, a mysterious social media user claiming to be a plainclothes police officer and going by the names Hessy wa Kayole, Hessy wa Dandora and Hessy wa Huruma took to Facebook, identifying the woman as Claire Mwaniki, the wife of a “notorious” robber known as Mwanii.