Patrick Shaw; Nairobi Policing The Vigilante-Style

Patrick Shaw was a revered police reservist known for his vigilante-style of policing; shoot-outs, car chases, and a long line of criminals who turned up dead after crossing his path.

According to a piece published by Business Daily, word going around in the 1970s was that Shaw hardly slept and kept watch guarding Nairobi day and night.

Sources close to him, however, confirmed this to be true since he suffered from a glandular disorder; he was so obese that he couldn’t lie down. For this reason, his trademark vintage Volvo, series 120/121, ivory white in colour had specially fit seats that he would recline and get some shut-eye once in a while when he felt sleepy.

Patrick Shaw was feared to the point that everybody knew his registration number by heart – KFH845.

“An aura of fear had built up around him, and he used it to his advantage,” stated a former Nairobi police officer who worked with Shaw for more than 20 years.

Dozens of wanted criminals who heard Shaw was looking for them simply turned themselves in, crippled by the fear that Patrick Shaw (his street name) would gun them down.

Patrick Shaw
Patrick Shaw

“If Patrick Shaw confronted an armed man, he would shoot first – always,” said a longtime police colleague, “And if a man tried to escape, he’d kill him. But that’s it. He never ever shot a captured man.”

One time in 1979, a notorious Ugandan criminal, Walimba, shot Shaw in the shoulder and fled, but Shaw was able to drive himself to the hospital, was treated, and then drove himself home. This is one of the known fetes that make him a legendary police reservist.

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“He was absolutely fearless,” stated the security official who knew Shaw well.

The legend succumbed to a weight-related heart attack in 1988

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