MARUDI: A local elderly man was hospitalised after accidentally shooting himself in an incident that occurred not far from Sungai Selepin at Beluru in Bakong recently.
According to Lance Corporal Edmund Jali of Miri central police station, he received a call from Miri Hospital on Saturday last weekend stating that a man with serious gunshot wounds was rushed to its accident and emergency unit from Beluru Health Clinic.
It is reported that the 58-year-old victim – a resident of Rumah Buddy Ayai at Sungai Selepin –was on his way home from his orchard at around 6.30pm on Saturday when he tripped over, triggering the shotgun that he was carrying at the time.
As a result, he sustained serious injuries on his left rib, shoulder and left arm.
The victim had told police that the shotgun was handed down to him by his late father, but he (victim) had yet to officially transfer the ownership of firearms.
The elderly man is still being treated at Miri Hospital, but his condition is reported to be stable.
As a follow-up to the case, Beluru police station officer-in-charge Sgt Saudi Saibi led a team to Rumah Buddy Ayai to seize the Winchester-brand shotgun from a relative of the victim. It is said the victim managed to return to the longhouse before being sent to Beluru Clinic.
In connection with the incident, Marudi police chief DSP Gabriel Risut announced a stern reminder to all villagers to be very careful when handling firearms.
“First and foremost, get your firearms registered and licensed with the Marudi District Office, and also inform police about it.
“It is also important that you register the firearms under your name.
“If there’s any transfer from one owner to another, immediately follow all the necessary procedures involved in conducting the transfer. This is the law,” he said, adding that he had instructed Marudi police station licensing officer ASP Goldy Jangan to head a team to run strict checks on all firearms owners who are registered with Marudi District Office.
“Owning firearms is a serious responsibility.
“All of us should strive to avoid incidents like this from reoccurring,” he stressed.