High drama in Telipok as police gun down hostage taker

TUARAN: It was not like any other Sunday in the little town of Telipok, about 10km south of here as a man held a two-year-old girl hostage at an apartment building yesterday afternoon.

Police, upon being alerted on the matter at 4pm, swung into action and after over an hour negotiating with the man, had to gun him down when he threatened to throw down the girl from the kitchen of a fourth-floor unit.

Sabah police commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah, who was at the scene, told reporters that police tried their best to persuade the man to release the girl, but he refused to do so.

“Police were alerted at 4pm that the man was holding the girl hostage at the unit with a knife to her neck. Throughout the negotiations, he persisted in holding the knife at her neck which caused a slight cut there.

“When it appeared that he would do what he was saying, police had no choice but to order our sharpshooters to gun him down. The suspect was instantly killed and the girl rescued,” he said.

Omar said the girl was rushed to Likas Hospital for further treatment. He said based on preliminary investigations, it is learned that the 30-year-old suspect was not staying around the apartment area and no identification documents were found on him.

“On the fourth floor of this apartment block there is a stall, and the suspect had gone to the stall before pulling out a knife and grabbing the child who was outside the stall. He then locked her in the apartment unit,” he said.

Omar said the suspect ordered the homeowner, who was performing midday prayers, to get out of the house. Upon seeing the suspect with a knife, the homeowner did as he was told, he added.

Omar said the suspect might have been mentally ill, as there were no threats or requests made during the negotiations for the release of the child. The motive is yet to be determined and the investigation is still ongoing, he said.

The case is being investigated under Section 307 for attempted murder. — Bernama

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