Amid the ongoing public uproar over rising cases of police brutality, officers in Mombasa have shot dead a passenger while pursuing a matatu plying the Mombasa-Miritini route.

According to reports, the passenger was shot dead under unclear circumstances early Wednesday near Makupa area. Officers claimed that the vehicle was flagged down at a roadblock at about midnight but the driver sped off prompting the pursuit.

Changamwe OCPD Peter Omanwa said the matatu may have been transporting criminals noting police were acting on intelligence.

The deceased was shot in the head when the officers opened fire.

“The driver abandoned the vehicle a few metres from the roadblock and fled,” said Omanwa.

A senior officer who did not want to be named said: “It’s not clear why the officer opened fire instead of circulating details of the matatu or alerting other officers at nearby police stations.

“Why not deflate tires instead of shooting indiscriminately at vehicles?”

The body was taken to the morgue at Coast Provincial General Hospital.