Man dead after four-hour standoff

Man dead after four-hour standoff
The man, known to neighbours as Mr Ong, being taken out to an ambulance.

A FOUR-HOUR standoff in Marine Drive ended yesterday with a 59-year-old man being carried out of his home with blood streaming from a gash above his left eye.

The man, known to neighbours as Mr Ong, had earlier locked himself in his home at Block 79 and threatened to harm himself.

He was later found lying in his flat with what is believed to be self-inflicted stab wounds and pronounced dead at Changi General Hospital. The police have classified the case as an unnatural death and investigations are ongoing.

A police spokesman said they received a call for assistance at 10.51am. They activated the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), which deployed two inflatable safety life air packs and a safety net as a "precautionary measure".

The commotion, visible from the busy East Coast Parkway, drew crowds of onlookers at the Marine Parade estate.

Mr Ong's immediate neighbour, a homemaker in her 40s, said she got home at about 12.30pm and saw a crowd of police officers outside her seventh-floor flat.

"I could see (Mr Ong) sitting on the floor and talking with the officers," said the woman who declined to give her name, adding he had locked the metal gate to his flat.

She said that Mr Ong used to work as a tutor and rented out the unit to a Chinese woman and her teenage son. But yesterday, Mr Ong was alone at home during the incident.

At about 2.30pm, officers were seen rushing up with equipment to break down Mr Ong's door. Minutes later, SCDF personnel readied themselves to rappel into the unit while officers outside the unit started cutting the metal gate with an electric saw.

By the time they entered the flat, Mr Ong appeared to have stabbed himself. The SCDF said paramedics found him on the floor with neither breath nor pulse. "An SCDF paramedic immediately administered CPR and (used an AED) on him," said the SCDF spokesman.

Cleaning supervisor M. Ambarasan, 59, was among those watching at the foot of the block when he saw officers rushing to the scene. "This man was threatening to jump. This is a quiet neighbourhood... so shocking that this suddenly happened."

This article was first published on Apr 16, 2015.
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