Australian teacher shot dead in botched Karen robbery

Gabrielle Maina
Australian teacher Gabrielle Maina.

Australian teacher Gabrielle Maina has been shot dead during a botched robbery in the Nairobi suburb of Karen on Thursday.

The assailants, who reportedly struck on motorbikes are being hunted by Kenyan authorities while her family and friends in New South Wales come to terms with their loss.

It is believed Ms Maina, originally from Armidale, had just dropped off her son at a friend’s home.

Fairfax Media have reported that according to Security company Insight Secure, which monitors local incidents, a caucasian woman was killed by “unidentified assailants” and “a 9mm cartridge was recovered at the crime scene”.

However, her lawyer George King’ori has rejected claims the attack was a random robbery gone wrong as the angle the bullet hit her indicates she was likely on her knees pleading for her life when she was shot, according to a report on ABC.

“There were markings on her knees, showing she was most likely kneeling… and maybe begging for mercy,” Mr King’ori told ABC Radio on Sunday.

“It is important for them (Department of Foreign Affairs) to keep on pushing until it is certain as to what caused her death,” he added.

Before moving to Nairobi in 2015, Gabrielle was headteacher at the elite Hillcrest Preparatory School, and taught English and drama for almost five years at Sarah Redfern High School in southwest Sydney.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said “our prayers and love and condolences go out to her family and loved ones”.

According to the Kenya High Commission in Canberra, investigations into the incident were underway in Nairobi.

“We salute Ms Gabrielle Maina for her sterling role in moulding the lives of many Kenyan youth who went through her very capable hands since she joined Hillcrest School in 2015,” they said in a statement on Facebook.

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