Monday, August 26

Showdown at high noon


Cops battle it out with pistol-wielding men in house robbery, patrolman takes one in the arm while one robber’s legs shot

The robber who was shot in his legs is seen handcuffed on the ground, awaiting the arrival of an ambulance.

MIRI: Two police patrolmen survived an exchange of gunfire yesterday with armed robbers in Taman Serene Jelita at Taman Tunku here, which saw one of them hurt and one suspect being shot in both legs.

Corporal William Bell Jol, a 33-year veteran of the force, suffered a gunshot wound to his upper left arm after the 55-year-old and his partner Constable Mohd Roni Abdul Manap, 27, engaged the masked robbers after being fired upon.

The injured father-of-five was taken to Miri Hospital for treatment and is in stable condition, according to Sarawak CID chief SAC Denis Leong.

In praising the bravery of his men, who are attached to the Mobile Patrol Vehicle (MPV) unit, Leong said despite coming under fire, they did not back down and put their lives on the line to neutralise the suspects.

“The patrolmen deserve a pat on the back for their action which saved a family from being robbed. Despite being shot in the arm, Corporal William and his partner did not stand down and returned fire, hitting one of the robbers in his legs,” he said following the 12.30pm incident.

At the end of the shootout, police arrested the injured 50-year-old robber and a 35-year-old accomplice, who was unhurt and had surrendered himself. Both suspects are locals.

A third suspect, who had initially been hiding in the house, managed to escape despite an extensive manhunt by police.

In addition to the arrests, police also seized a semi-automatic pistol and a live bullet at the crime scene.

“We have classified the investigation under Section 3 of the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971, for discharging a firearm in the commission of a crime,” said Leong.

Those convicted under this law face the death penalty.

Meanwhile, the house owner’s wife told The Borneo Post that the incident happened moments after she had arrived home from fetching her four-year-old son from kindergarten.

“I had just driven into the car porch and parked my car when suddenly, I heard a loud bang. When I turned around, I saw a silver BMW had reversed through the front gate,” she said.

At that juncture, she said three masked men carrying pistols rushed out of the luxury car and shouted at her to get into the house.

“My husband and amah (maid) were inside at the time, and we were all forced to the upper floor at gunpoint. They had a gun pointed to my husband’s head, and also taped my son’s mouth shut.”

The woman added that during the incident, her husband had fought the robber guarding them and suffered an injury after the suspect’s pistol discharged and the bullet grazed his finger.