Australian teacher and Armidale woman shot dead in Kenya: Two men arrested

Gabrielle Maina
Gabrielle Maina

The estranged husband of Australian teacher Gabrielle Maina has been arrested after the mother-of-two was shot and killed in Nairobi last week, according to media reports.

Ms Maina’s husband, Cyrus Bernard Maina Njuguna, and another man, John Njuguna Waithira, were arrested in Kenya over Thursday’s shooting in the exclusive suburb of Karen, the ABC reports.

Ms Maina’s lawyer, George King’ori, earlier on Tuesday told AAP the couple were in the midst of divorce proceedings in court after the 40-year-old had been granted a restraining order against her husband in April.

‘‘She feared her estranged husband ... the husband had become very irrational,’’ Mr King’ori told AAP in a statement.

The 40-year-old moved to Nairobi from Sydney in 2015 so her two sons could experience another culture and grow up near her husband’s extended family, a friend told AAP this week.

Before moving to Nairobi, where Ms Maina was head teacher at the elite Hillcrest Preparatory School, she taught English and drama for almost five years at Sarah Redfern High School in Sydney’s southwest.

Australia’s foreign affairs department is in contact with Kenyan authorities responsible for the investigation into Ms Maina’s death.

It is also providing consular assistance to her family in Kenya and Australia.

It’s believed the mother-of-two had just dropped off her son at a friend’s home when she was shot and killed while walking home in the Kenyan capital at about 10am on Thursday, local time.

A security company that monitors local incidents, reported that a "Caucasian woman" was killed by "unidentified assailants" and “a 9mm cartridge was recovered at the crime scene”.

“My heart is broken especially for your Mum, brother and your gorgeous little boys who now have to grow up without their Mumma,” Ms Maina’s cousin, Annabel Smith, wrote on Facebook. 

School friends described her as “very intelligent, musically talented and always smiling”. Ms Maina graduated from Armidale High School in 1995 before commencing studies at the University of New England.

“I’m not exaggerating because she was one of those people that you can’t forget,” she said.

“She liked having people around her, she really was a lovely person.”

Tributes from across the country poured in for the former Armidale resident, including condolences from New England MP Barnaby Joyce who said “she was an inspiration to many (and) left a lasting impression on fellow students and staff”.

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