Thursday, March 21

Telipok Ria hostage-taker shot dead


The child being rushed to the waiting ambulance.

KOTA KINABALU: A man who held a two-year-old girl at knife point for more than two hours in Telipok Ria Tuaran here, was shot dead by police yesterday.

Police had to open fire at the yet-to-be identified man after he threatened to throw the girl from the fourth floor flat where he was holding her hostage, said State Police Commissioner Datuk Omar Mammah.

Omar speaking to the media.

Speaking to reporters at the scene of the drama, Omar said the girl sustained injuries to her neck as the suspect had placed the knife there.

She was immediately rushed to the hospital and the extent of her injuries will only be known after she has been examined by doctor, he said.

The man believed to be in his 30s, was not a resident of the residential area, Omar said, adding that no documents were found on him.

Police, he said, received the call about the hostage situation at 4pm and immediately rushed to the scene.

Responding personnel saw the suspect holding the girl and tried to persuade him to release her.

He refused and put the knife to her neck, injuring her, said Omar adding, “We gave him the opportunity to surrender but he refused”.

The suspect then took the child into the kitchen and that was where he was fatally shot.

When asked if police had found out the motive of the abduction, Omar said investigations were in progress and based on witnesses’ account of the suspect’s behaviour prior to abduction, mental problem had not been ruled out.

Police will also conduct a urine test to find out if the suspect was under the influence of drugs, he said.

Omar also clarified that the suspect did not have any relation with the child, her family members or the owner of the flat he was shot in.

“He did not go to the girl’s house, he went to a small sundry shop on the fourth floor of the building and grabbed the child who was playing outside the premises. He then went into the flat and ordered the owner out.

The flat where the hostage drama took place.

“Seeing that he was armed with a knife, the owner who had just finished performing his afternoon prayers ran out of the flat,” said Omar.

He also said that when police were persuading the suspect to release the child and surrender, the latter did not make any demands nor did he reacte violently at the police.

The case is being investigated under Section 307 of the Penal Code.