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Dark past of notorious gangster who shot dead university student in Umoja robbery

He had sworn his allegiance to the thug life. From his Facebook posts Ihab Salim Kariuki glorified crime and prophesied that he would die by the bullet.

On April 13, 2020, for instance, Kariuki posted on his Facebook page, a quote that was popularised by the late American rapper Tupac Shakur.

FACEBOOK POSTS

“I no longer live in fear, my pistol close in hand, convinced this is my year,” the post read in part.

On March 30, 2020, he published another post using lyrics from the same musician.

“Even though I am marked for death, I am gonna spark till I lose my breath,” he wrote.

The deceased also posted incidents of extrajudicial killings in Kenya and condemned the police for their actions.

For instance, on April 2, 2020 he posted a video where six officers were captured on video killing a civilian.

And on Wednesday, Kariuki, 31, and his colleague, who is yet to be identified, were shot dead by detectives attached to the Special Service Unit in Ruiru, Kiambu County.

The police also recovered a firearm, a heckler, and Koch P30 pistol of serial number 129-025397, which is believed to have been used in several robberies in Nairobi and Kiambu counties.

MURDER WEAPONS

Speaking to Nairobi News, Kiambu Police boss Mr Ali Nuno said that the firearm had been handed over to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) along Kiambu road, where it will undergo ballistic tests.

Nairobi News has established that detectives have come up with a list of more than 20 suspected gangsters who were close to the slain duo.

Police began trailing the two after detectives retrieved CCTV footage from Phadam Hospital in Umoja, where a Meru University Fourth-year student identified as Rodgers Opiyo was shot dead.

Detectives then learnt that they were riding on an unmarked motorbike in Kamakis and set up a trap to arrest them.

“They tried to escape, but when they realized they had been cornered, they started shooting at the police. However, they were overpowered and shot dead,” Mr Nuno said.

Buruburu police boss Mr Adamson Bungei said that the suspect had on the day he was murdered stolen Sh350,000 from a man who he shot dead.

A detective who is privy to the matter said that the footage clearly captured the duo, and officers, having arrested Kariuki several in the past, began looking for him.

ON POLICE RADAR

“Mr Kariuki is not new to controversy and he has been in the police radar for a very long time. As soon as detectives saw the footage, they positively identified him and launched a manhunt,” the detective who spoke to Nairobi News in confidence said.

The detective revealed that Mr Kariuki has been on the police radar since 2015 when he is said to have murdered a businessman in Umoja Estate.

Nairobi News has also established that Mr Kariuki led a flashy lifestyle and never kept his gangster lifestyle a secret.

His friends who are planning for his burial told Nairobi News that they fear for their lives.

“It is sad to have lost our pal, but the detectives are very much keen on this matter and we all fear for our lives,” a source within the burial committee said.

Already, his girlfriend, who has been identified only as Anita on Thursday this week, deleted all her photos from Facebook and went underground.

According to members of the burial committee, no one knows the whereabouts of the woman who dated Kariuki for more than three years.