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Businessman escapes with wounds from gunfight

16 April 2013, 18:16

A prominent trader was on Monday shot and seriously wounded in a gun battle between him and three gangsters.

The businessman, Samuel Manja, sustained injuries on the right hand when the gangsters sprayed bullets on him in Kutus town.

But his friend Gitari Muriuki escaped unhurt during the fight which brought business in the usually busy town to a standstill.

Manja who owns a wholesale animal feeds shop in the town was going to the bank when he saw one of the gangsters standing at the middle of the road, near Kirinyaga University College, wielding an AK47 assault rifle.

Fearing for his life, he reversed his vehicle as the gangster shot at him. The businessman whipped out his licensed Ceska pistol and returned fire.

A fierce fight broke out as the other two gangsters standing on one side of the Kerugoya-Kutus road joined in.

As the fight intensified, Manja jumped out of the car and started running away as the gangsters pursued him.

The businessman screamed for help, attracting hundreds of residents and colleagues who scared away the gangsters.

Residents said the gangsters were ferried towards Kagio by three motor cycles believed to have been hired.

Muriuki said he had been given a ride by the trader when the gangsters attacked.

"I was so shocked when I saw gangsters in front of us holding a gun ready to attack. It was then that Manja slowed down and started reversing the car,” he said.

He recounted how the gangster started firing at the car before the trader hit back.

Muriuki said as the fight went on, the trader alighted and started fleeing as he shot at the gangsters.

“When I saw what the trader had done, I also jumped out and took off for safety. I was so terrified as it was my first time to have such an encounter,” he said.

Police led by area head of police boss Patrick Oduma arrived shortly after the dramatic fight only to find that the gangsters had escaped.

Oduma said the suspects were well known criminals in the area and were being pursued.

“These suspects are in the list of wanted criminals and we are tracking them down," he observed.

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