Gunmen stormed Garissa University College, located in Garissa, Kenya on Thursday, April 2, leaving an estimated 147 people dead. It is being reported that members of a terrorist group targeted and killed Christian students, including 10 Seventh-day Adventists.
Among the dead was Eric Nyumbuto, the leader of the student-led Adventist Church on campus.
Stanley Rotich, a member of the local Garissa Adventist Church, reported he was in a nearby building when he heard the gunshots, which prompted him to call Nyumbuto. The conversation abruptly ended when the phone was disconnected. He later learned of his friends’ death.
Over the course of the attack, 500 students managed to escape, and several were left severely injured.
One of the first policemen to respond to the attack was Philmon Okal, a Sabbath School Superintendent for the local Adventist Church in Garissa.
“Words can’t describe how horrific this event was to experience. But this attack reminds me that the second coming of Jesus is very near,” Okal said. “We must continue to look for that day when violence, death and destruction will be no more.”
Several people have already been arrested in connection to the attack and the Kenyan government has promised to bring swift justice to all those involved.
This is the deadliest attack in Kenya in almost two decades. The group that claimed responsibility for the attack is the same group that committed the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya in 2013.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church mourns the deaths of the students killed last week. Members from the Garissa Seventh-day Adventist Church said, “We are heartbroken by this senseless loss and solicit your prayers for all of the victims of this terrible tragedy.”