The man who hurled grenades that injured six police officers during a 12-hour confrontation in Nairobiâ€™s Githurai Kimbo on Sunday was a wanted terrorist.
Police said Felix Nyangaga Otuko, who was shot dead together with his wife, was the main suspect in the 2011 terror attack at Mwauraâ€™s Pub, off Tom Mboya Street in Nairobi.
They further said he was an accomplice of al-Shabaab member Elgiva Bwire, who is serving a life term after pleading guilty to terror charges.
The man rarely communicated using a mobile phone and managed to escape the police dragnet for almost 20 months when he was on the detectivesâ€™ radar.
Neighbours said he led a very private life.
â€œWe never saw them during the day for the period they lived here, although that is normally the nature of people in Nairobi. Their situation was, however, rather exceptional. You couldnâ€™t see them even during weekends,â€ the coupleâ€™s neighbour, Mr Stephen Mochanda, said.
Opted to go upstairs
Another neighbour, Ms Janet Wanjiru, said she saw the couple for the first time when police ordered all the residents to move out. The couple, however, opted to go upstairs, she added.
â€œIn fact, I only saw them when they were moving in the opposite direction from their ground floor house,â€ Ms Wanjiru said.
The residents spent Saturday night out in the cold. Others could not sleep due to the pungent smell of tear gas.
â€œWe have not slept because the air here has been full of tear gas since yesterday,â€ Mr Andrew Omoto, a resident, said.
Officers from the Crime Scene Support Services took fingerprints of the terror suspectâ€™s wife to establish her nationality and other personal details.
Six officers were injured during the 12-hour operation where police also recovered two live grenades, parts of four expended grenades and 64 rounds of ammunition.
Two Suspected Terrorists Killed, 6 Police Officers Injured
The officers stormed the three-storey building on Saturday around 7pm and ordered all residents out.
They all got out except the couple, with their eight-month-old daughter.
They moved from their one-bedroom house on the ground floor to the first floor, and lay in wait.
As the first officers entered the gate, the suspect hurled the first grenade at them. Five officers, including the Githurai Kimbo Police Station commander, were injured.
The officers resorted to using live ammunition but without success. Officers from the General Service Unitâ€™s Recce Company were called to reinforce their Anti-Terrorism Police Unit counterparts.
For the better part of Saturday night, heavily armed officers surrounded the building.
The operation resumed early yesterday morning and the suspect threw three other grenades at the officers, slightly injuring an officer from the Recce Company.
Little girl was unscathed
During the confrontation, the couple used their own daughter as a human shield, hoping the police would be reluctant to attack.
They were finally shot dead on Sunday at around 7am. The little girl was unscathed.
Police suspect that shrapnel from the second grenade the couple hurled at the officers injured them. The man, who was injured in the waist, tied a cloth around it to stop the bleeding. The shrapnel also seriously injured the wife on the right wrist.