Unknown gunmen on Friday night shot and killed one of Mombasa’s top businessmen, Mohamed Shahid Butt, the owner of Modern Coast Bus Company, in Changamwe, as he drove from the Moi International Airport to town.
Butt had earlier this year been arrested and arraigned in court alongside another suspect over links to funding radical youth in Mombasa’s Majengo area, to terrorize preachers and other Muslims in Mombasa, and was out on cash bail.
He was in a salon car from the airport where he had picked his son who landed from Britain, and was heading towards the city center when the shooting occurred at 8pm, police and family members said.
“A black car was trailing him unknown and it stopped at Chaani area when Butt slowed down to give way to a motorcyclist, before two men alighted, went to his car and shot him, killing him instantly,” Robert Kitur, Mombasa County police commander told journalists at the scene, adding that Butt’s car rolled.
The assailants’ vehicle had five occupants and it drove off after the shooting, leaving him dead in his car and his son slightly injured, Kitur said.
His body was taken to the Pandya Memorial hospital mortuary, and police said they were exploring several possible motives for his killing including business rivalry.
Earlier reports indicated that gunmen had attacked Changamwe police station, but Kitur refuted saying it was Butt’s killers who were shooting in the air as they escaped after killing him.
Police based at the Changamwe station had to temporarily shut it down and seal it off because of uncertainty over the identity and intentions of the gunmen.
The slain entrepreneur owned a string of businesses across the country including the fleet of Modern Coast buses that operate between Mombasa and upcountry.