GSOC ‘not taking case seriously’, says shot man’s family
GRIEF: Left to right, Emmanuel, George and Grateful Nkencho; front, Victor, Gloria and the siblings’ mother, Blessing
January 24 2021 02:30 AM
The family of a man shot dead by gardaí have accused the force’s watchdog of not taking its investigation seriously as it has yet to interview family members who witnessed the fatal shooting.
George Nkencho (27) was shot dead on December 30 on the porch of his home in Clonee, Dublin, following a tense stand-off with gardaí during which he refused to drop a knife.
Speaking to the Sunday Independent this weekend, the dead man’s sister, Gloria Nkencho, said the family are “living in constant fear” following an outpouring of online racism and hate mail received at the family home shortly after her brother’s shooting.
She said the family, who witnessed the incident, “desperately want to tell our story” but have not yet been interviewed by detectives.
“This is of major concern to our family as we feel GSOC are not taking George’s case seriously,” she added.
“We desperately want to tell our story so GSOC can hear the truth of what happ-ened. We feel it is unfair that they have spoken to the people responsible but do not appear to be interested in hearing our side of the story.”
She and other siblings witnessed the shooting, as they were at the front door when an armed officer opened fire.
Minutes before, Ms Nkencho tried to tell gardaí she could help and that her bro-ther had a mental illness.
However, as officers tried to contain the potential for violence, she had to retreat inside. Some bullets went through windows, near where some of the family were standing.
“We feel there should be more transparency in the investigation. Our solicitor has been denied answers to our questions and we are constantly afraid the investigation is not proceeding as we expected it would,” she said.
“The family is still devastated and in a state of shock. After reading some of the things written online and the hate mail received at our home, we are in a constant state of fear.”
The Sunday Independent can reveal the results of an independent autopsy carried out on behalf of the family by retired state pathologist for Northern Ireland, Professor Jack Crane.
It stated that the cause of death was “bullet wounds to the chest”, but noted that among the “five or possibly six” gunshot wounds, two were to the left side of Mr Nkencho’s back.
“The varying wounds’ direction would tend to indicate he was moving during the course of the shooting, possibly as a result of an initial shot or shots causing him to collapse,” the report added.
The solicitor representing the family has written to GSOC to express their displeasure that they have yet to be interviewed.
Phelim O’Neill said they could facilitate remote interviews and asked GSOC why it has “failed, refused and/or neglected” to take statements from the family.
A spokeswoman for GSOC said: “It would be inappropriate for GSOC to comment at this stage publicly on the direction or progress of the ongoing criminal investigation into Mr Nkencho’s death.”