New footage suggests Arshad Sharif shot from close range

Murtaza Ali Shah
Nyaboga Kiage

NAIROBI: Another finding has surfaced in the slain journalist Arshad Sharif murder case that suggests that the journalist was shot at a close range in the head by Kenya Police firearms unit and six bullets were fired at his Toyota Land Cruiser, footage obtained by Geo News showed. 

The three-minute video available to Geo News showed that the car bearing registration number KCG 200M is parked at a secure police and intelligence facility here. The vehicle was towed to Kiserian Police Station, originally in Kajiado County on October 24, a day after Sharif was shot dead at the Magadi Road.

Businessman Khurram Ahmad had driven his car to the Tinga Market area to the farmhouse of Waqar Ahmad after it was shot at by the Kenyan police on Magadi Road in the Kamakura area. The footage shows that a total of nine bullets were fired on the Toyota Land Cruiser V8. Footage and post-mortem confirm that two bullets fatally hit Arshad Sharif. The first bullet on Arshad’s head was fired from a close range while he was in the passenger seat.

Out of the nine bullets, two hit Arshad Sharif and six were fired in Sharif's direction. Three of them hit the side of Khurram who was driving the vehicle. Interestingly, he was not even injured in the deadly shootout.

The first bullet hit the mirror of Arshad Sharif’s side, hitting him in the head and leaving a gap of 12cm by 3cm. The second bullet that hit Sharif in the chest was fired from behind through the vehicle boot. The third bullet hit the window of the rear seat just behind the driver’s seat. The fourth hit the vehicle’s front tyre on the driver’s side. The rest of the bullets hit the rear window on the right, left and left sides but below respectively. The ninth bullet also hit the rear window.

The shots that hit the rear window caused the top side of the rear window to crack. This raises the question how lucky the driver was to escape as all the bullets hit the vehicle while two bullets hit the slain journalist, leading to his death.

These are some of the questions that the Pakistan investigation team and detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) are trying to find answers to. It is worth noting that the shooting took place at a police roadblock, which was being manned by officers attached to the General Service Unit (GSU).

It remains unclear why the officers decided to block the road using stones, yet in Kenya, roads are blocked using spikes. What led to the erection of roadblock? Police in Kenya said that a man identified as Douglas Wainaina reported to detectives at the Pangani Police Station that he had left his car in the parking at Ngara area with his son inside, but upon returning he could not find it.

The registration number of the lost car is KDJ700F but the make was a Mercedes Benz, which is completely different from the vehicle in which Sharif and Ahmad were travelling. Details obtained by investigating reporters of the Toyota Landcruiser Sharif and Khurram were using show that it was registered on December 24, 2021, and it belonged to Waqar.

A Kenyan medical report obtained by Geo News shows that Sharif was killed due to multiple injuries caused by high-velocity firearm bullets from two different directions. It says the shot to Sharif’s head came from an intermediate range but footage obtained by Geo News shows the bullets were fired from a close range.

A Chiromo Mortuary pathologist who wrote the post-mortem report for the Kenya Police says that the senior Pakistani journalist died due to a “gunshot to the head and chest by use of a high-velocity firearm at intermediate range”. The medical report registers the cause of death as “multiple injuries”.

The first gunshot, it said, entered the left side of Arshad Sharif’s head/skull measured at 12cm by 3cm, damaging a large part of the brain/skull. The “graze gunshot wound left parietal area and scalp with penetration of skull causing a (part of the skull in the area was missing) stellate wound that measured 12 cm x 3cm.” Thereby, the first gunshot caused a “brain laceration” in the “left parietal” brain region.

The second gunshot, the report says, entered the “right upper back” with a wound measuring “1cm diameter with an abrasion. It was located 3cm from the midline and 30cm from the top of the head”.

The gunshot exited on the “right side of the chest measuring 2cm x 1 cm” and “it had everted edges”. The report says that the second gunshot damaged Arshad’s “respiratory system” and the “penetrating bullet caused injury on the apex of the right lung, right hemothorax”.

After Arshad Sharif died at Magadi/Kiserian Road at the hands of policemen from the General Service Unit (GSU) on the night of 23rd October 2022, his body was brought to the Chiromo Mortuary by the police.