Police in Birmingham, Alabama, have arrested a man they believe fatally shot Mike Mulwa Ngangi, a 29 year old Kenyan entrepreneur, at a gas station in on Parkway East.
The suspect, 18 year old Chandler Bryant of Birmingham, is being charged with capital murder and has been denied bond.
He is suspected of fatally shooting Mr Mulwa on June 3rd at a Citgo Gas Station where the victim was working. Police at the time determined robbery was involved.
Authorities confirmed to Kenya Satellite Network on Tuesday evening that they had a suspect in their custody and he would be arraigned soon.
“Yes I can confirm that we have a suspect in custody and will release his name as soon as we are done processing him,” said a Birmingham police officer.
Authorities later released the name of the suspect as Chandler Bryant.
Local media outlets report that he will be charged with capital murder.
(We shall update this story as more details become available).
Mulwa died nine days ago following what police believe was an altercation with the assailant.
Last Sunday, exactly a week after Mulwa’s death, the Kenyan community in Atlanta held a memorial service at the Kenyan American Community Church where they also raised funds to help transport the body to Kenya for burial.
Hundreds -many of whom did not even know the man – packed the church to show solidarity and console his family and friends.
“The circumstances under which he died, coupled with the fact that he was a very popular young man, have brought together the largest Kenyan gatherings I have ever seen,” said Koki Mugo.
It was an emotional moment as those who spoke demanded justice and expressed hope that the killer of the man described as a free-spirited-happy-go-lucky Kenyan who was a role model to fellow youth would be brought to book.
“He was murdered senselessly, because the killer did not give him a chance to live his full life,” Ngangi’s cousin Eric Sukulu said.
Until his death, Mr Mulwa was living in Atlanta, Georgia, while working in Alabama.
The Daily Nation – a Kenyan newspaper – reported that Mulwa was at the petrol station which had a history of robberies and shoplifting. It had been robbed on the previous day and the robbers had warned him not to report to the police.
“On Friday two people robbed the store but managed to steal a cigar but warned him not to report to the police, but being the States, he would have been accused of being an accomplice and so he reported,” said Mr Mutuku.
On Saturday night one of the robbers came back and confronted him on why he had reported the robbery and he shot him.
Mr Mutuku said that after the shooting, his brother managed to call the first name in his phonebook saved as Agnes and told her to call 911 to report that he had been shot before passing out.
Police responded in about 12 mins. They found two people trying to resuscitate him after the 11.30pm shooting.
“Mulwa was rushed to the University of Alabama trauma hospital where he underwent surgery but died from the gunshot wound at 4.30am on Sunday,” read a statement from the police.
BULLET PROOF WALL
Vincent Mulandi, a cousin, said that 254 is an empire that Kenyans and the whole world acknowledge.
Mr Mulandi said Mr Mulwa had once told the owner of the building to put up a bulletproof glass wall following another robbery in December last year.
Mr Mulandi said he and his brother grew up together and he is yet to come to terms with his death and that he deserved a decent send-off.
He said his smile was contagious and helped anyone who approached him with problems as he never lacked solutions.
His mother, Violent Mueni, father, Councillor Ngangi, and his only surviving brother, Mutuku, live in Kathonzweni.
Mr Mulwa, who moved to the US in 2008, leaves behind a pregnant widow and two children.
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