Police officer in Kenya 'goes berserk,' kills 7 colleagues

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

A Kenyan police officer went on a shooting spree Thursday, killing seven colleagues including a hostage response team member before the standoff ended in a shootout, a police report said.

The suspect, Abdihakim Maslah, was shot, said the report provided to The Associated Press.

Police at first suspected an extremist with the al-Shabab group based in neighboring Somalia.

The police report says 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" and started shooting.

That statement said the officer wore a "turban that covered his whole face, leading to the previous suspicions" that he was an extremist.

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.