In a shocking turn of events, renowned journalist Arshad Sharif was shot dead in Kenya’s Nairobi on Monday morning in a case of ‘mistaken identity’.
In a press statement, Kenyan police said Arshad Sharif was shot in the head and killed by police after he and his driver allegedly breached a roadblock that had been set up to check on motor vehicles using the route.
They were driving from Magadi town to Nairobi when they were flagged down at a roadblock being manned by a group of police officers, police said.
The Star Kenya reported that the police headquarters said an Independent Policing Oversight Authority will take over the case and further investigate the matter.
A senior police officer confirmed the shooting and added a comprehensive statement will be released later.
“We had an incident of shooting which turned out to be a case of mistaken identity involving a journalist. We will release more information later,” the officer said.
According to police, at the roadblock, there was a call for police to intercept a car similar to the one they were driving following a carjacking incident in Pangani area, Nairobi where a child was taken hostage.
And a few minutes later, Sharif’s car emerged at the roadblock and they were stopped and asked to identify themselves. They allegedly failed to stop and drove past the roadblock.
This prompted a brief chase and shooting that left Sharif dead. Their car rolled and his driver was injured and taken to hospital. He later told police he and his slain colleague were developers and were headed for a site in Magadi.
The news was later confirmed by Sharif’s wife, Javeria Siddiqui who said the journalist had been killed in Kenya.
“I lost friend, husband and my favourite journalist [Arshad Sharif] today, as per police he was shot in Kenya,” she tweeted.
She also urged the media and the public not to share their family pictures, personal details, and Sharif’s last pictures from the hospital on social media.
Sharif was previously associated with ARY News and had gone to Dubai after resigning from the channel.
Condolences starting pouring in from across the country following Sharif’s death.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he was deeply saddened. He offered condolences and prayers for the journalist’s family.
President Dr Arif Alvi termed Sharif’s death a great loss for journalism and Pakistan.
“May his soul rest in peace and may his family, which includes his followers, have the strength to bear this loss,” Alvi said.
Ministry of Information, in a statement also expressed condolences with the family and assured that the government was in contact with the Kenyan government and was trying to get further details of the incident.