Police shootings very rare in S’pore

Police shootings very rare in S’pore

SINGAPORE - Police shootings are very rare in Singapore. Before yesterday's incident, there had been just three reported cases in the past 15 years.

One has to go back seven years to March 6, 2008 for the last time a suspect was shot.

The drama unfolded in front of commuters on a train platform at Outram Park MRT station.

A 43-year-old man, Lim Bock Song, had fled to the station after stabbing his drinking buddy to death at a nearby hawker centre. He was spotted by Staff Sergeant Azli Othman and another officer at about 3.25pm.

Lim drew his knife and advanced towards the staff sergeant, ignoring the officer even after he drew his revolver and warned him to stop.

He charged at Staff Sgt Azli, who shot him in the chest.

The single shot drew screams from several commuters, some of whom tried to get away by running up the escalators and stairs. In 2010, a coroner's inquiry found that the shooting was justified.

Closed-circuit television footage in the station showed Staff Sgt Azli had little time to react to Lim's aggressive behaviour and could have been fatally stabbed, said the state coroner.

In 2002, a 42-year-old motorcycle thief was shot after lunging at four policemen with a knife in a carpark at Mount Alvernia Hospital. He survived.

In May 2000, Sergeant Jason Chua Tock Sing fired four shots at psychiatric patient Ang Swee Kiat and killed him, after Ang threatened Sgt Chua and another police officer with a 62cm-long iron rod.

Ang had been sitting along Seletar Club Road, wearing military camouflage slacks and army boots. When police checked on him, he tried to attack them with the rod - and kept charging despite being shot the first time. So Sgt Chua fired three more shots.

The state coroner later ruled that Sgt Chua had been justified in his actions.

goyshiyi@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on June 1, 2015.
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