KUCHING: A self-employed man is in critical condition after he was shot in the head by a suspected hired gunman at a coffee shop in Green Heights here yesterday morning.
The 31-year-old Miri-born victim, surnamed Ang, was having drinks with three friends along the five-foot-way in front of the shop when the assassin struck around 11am.
The lone gunman was said to have fired a single shot at him from a corner of the shoplot at a distance of 18 metres, using what was believed to be a 12-bore shotgun, striking Ang on the left side of his head.
The pellets also hit another customer a few tables away, injuring his left arm and stomach, as well as damaging two vehicles parked nearby and a shop located 63 metres across the road.
The second victim, a 69-year-old clerk surnamed Ho, is reported to be in stable condition following the incident.
The gunman was then said to have fled the scene with an accomplice using a motorcycle as coffee shops patrons and stall holders recovered from their initial shock to aid the two victims.
In a press conference later yesterday, district police chief ACP Roslan Bek Ahmad said initial investigation pointed to personal vendetta as the motive behind the shooting.
“We are trying to ascertain whether the intended target was the self-employed man or one of his friends seated at the same table. The older victim, however, was an innocent bystander with no ties to the younger victim,” he said.
He also urged the public not to speculate of the incident, following claims by certain quarters that the shooting was related to an on-going turf war between rival gangsters, saying that the police would work to get to the bottom of the matter and track down the perpetrators.
“The public should remain calm and not panic because such an incident is almost unheard of in Kuching.
“I appeal to witnesses, especially customers who were at the coffee shop at the time, to assist us by contacting investigating officer Inspector Angela Ladie at 013-8072900 or the nearest police station,” he added, giving his assurance that the identity of witnesses would be kept in the strictest confidence.
On a separate matter, Roslan said police have yet to get any lead regarding the June 30 attack on a senior woman manager in which her right hand was chopped off by assailants armed with a samurai sword.
He said the police have not had the opportunity to interview the victim as she is currently hospitalised in Singapore.
No arrests have been made so far in connection with the incident.
12 July 2012:
Gunshots at Green Heights : Gunshots from shotgun were fired at a coffeeshop in Green Heights, Kuching, Sarawak late this morning.
Two patrons were injured and are in stable condition following treatment at the general hospital.
Cause for shooting is unknown at this time. Police conference is expected to be held later this evening.