Two Kilifi cops had gunfire residues in their fingers shortly after a teenager was brutally murdered by a police bullet that ruptured his stomach, heart, and rib.

Gunfire residue, also known as firearm discharge residue, is residue deposited on the hands and clothes of someone who has fired a gun.

This new evidence places police constables Amos Kipsang’ and Simon Ayodo exactly at the scene where 17-year-old, Katana Kazungu, was felled.

Kipsang’ and Ayodo faces murder charges — and are interdicted.

Both denied murdering the first-born of 56-year-old, Kazungu Fondo, who lives under constant heavy fear of police violence, which robbed him of his son.

Kazungu shooting occurred at Tsangatsini, Kaloleni, in the evening of June 26, 2018, when he assisted push a ballast lorry that got stuck in the mud.

The scene of bedlam gave away the ferocity of police gunfire that ended an innocent life and left the earth soaking with pints of blood.

At the time of his murder, Kazungu was a Standard Seven pupil at Ndatani primary school in Kaloleni, Kilifi.

Police constables charged with pupil's murder.

Katana Kazungu parents (second-right and second-left) during the mention of the case at Malindi High Court. Photo: © 2019 Ernest Cornel.

The cryptic pieces of evidence implicating the officers emerged October 1 at Malindi High Court during an on-going trial. Prosecution witness, ballistic expert Benson Kiptoo, testified before Judge Reuben Nyakundi.

Amos and Kipsang’ got charged with Kazungu’s murder in February 2019, about a month after the court issued a warrant of arrest against them.

MUHURI is representing the deceased family in court.

What ballistic examination revealed

Ballistic expert Kiptoo paraded before the court three guns, which police used that fateful day. The firearms are two Jericho pistols and a Ceska.

Kiptoo examined the three guns and found out that three bullets had been fired from two firearms.

But one of the pistols, Kiptoo discovered, had its residues cleaned, ostensibly to conceal evidence. The other two guns were “rusty”, he said, implying they had powder residues – an indication they got fired.

How police shot teen dead

Police shot Kazungu when he was helping push a ballast lorry that had stalled, following heavy showers. Then, police claimed without evidence that the vehicle, which was from a nearby quarry, had been stolen, and that they were on a recovery mission.

Witnesses told MUHURI Kazungu came from a funeral and helped pushed the lorry hoping for a stipend. But the decision cost him his life, and with it, his dreams and hopes of many more.

Police ambushed, surged and opened gunfire by direct aiming on visible targets, shooting Kazungu in the process.

What was a normal evening turned into horror, with police gunfire that was heard kilometres away from the scene. By the time cops stopped pulling triggers, Kazungu was on the verge of death — a police bullet had dangerously ripped through his stomach, heart, and rib.

The defenceless teen lay in a pool of blood, motionless, his dreams cut so soon. Kazungu lost too much blood that he could not put up a fight to save his little soul.

And as the teen drenched in thick blood and brown sludge, started making death rattles, and visibly fought to live through each of his final moments on earth, one of the attacking cops appeared cheering Kazungu’s near-lifeless state, strongly convinced he would not pull through.

“‘Tumeangusha mmoja’ (we have shot dead one person),” the cop was heard by an eyewitness as boasting in a phone call. It has never been revealed whom the officer talked to.

Postmortem results

Kazungu died a few minutes later, triggering a moment of panic as police moved in to block terrified villagers from accessing the zone his body lay. Police then started a frantic effort of tampering with evidence, according to prosecution oral submissions to the court in June 2019.

Kazungu’s body remained at the scene for about six hours in a cover of night darkness until police took it to Mombasa County Teaching and Referral Hospital morgue.

A postmortem disclosed the killer bullet, fired at close-range, exited through Kazungu’s stomach after it pierced his back, passed through the heart and broke a rib.

Kipsang’ and Ayodo are out on Sh1 million bond each.

So far, seven prosecution witnesses have testified. Three are remaining.

The next hearing is on November 11-12.