Elena Chong & Carolyn Quek and Teh Joo Lin
Thu, Mar 06, 2008
The Straits Times
Police shot dead murder suspect in Outram MRT

A MAN who had earlier stabbed an odd-job worker to death in a hawker centre on Thursday afternoon, was later shot dead by a policeman at close range at a platform in the Outram MRT station when he tried to attack the cop.

The 43-year-old man had lunged at two police officers who went up to check on him. One of them shot him within three metres in the chest, watched in horror by gawping passengers waiting at the North-East Line (NEL) platform.

Police said the man, 43, had fled after fatally stabbing a 52-year-old Chinese man at a food court at Block 1, Jalan Kukoh at about 2.45 pm.

Police officers found the body of the murdered victim lying face up in a pool of blood near some tables when they went to the hawker centre.

A description of the assailant, who had fled the scene earlier, was given to police by bystanders.

Two officers at Outram MRT spotted the suspect near the NEL platform.

When they approached him to check, the suspect took out a knife from his bag and lunged at one of the police officers.

'As the officer's life was in imminent danger, he discharged a single round at close range, hitting the suspect in the chest,' said a police statement.

The man died on the spot. Paramedics who arrived at the scene pronounced him dead at about 3.50 pm.

Superintendent Lau Peet Ming, Commander of Central Police Division, said: 'The armed and dangerous suspect approached my officers in a threatening manner at close proximity.'

'In the circumstances, considering that he was suspected to have just killed another man, the officer had no choice but to open fire.'

The last time police fired off a shot in the line of duty was in 2002, at a man who charged at them with a knife. He survived.

An eyewitness, who was waiting for a train when the shooting happened, said he saw two policemen running after the man and shouting at him to stop.

'Moments later, there was a commotion. Then I saw a policeman drawing his gun and shooting the man in the chest. It was very scary!' said Mr Henley Ho, 32, who lives in Punggol.

A knife was found near the dead man's body. Train services at the station were not disrupted but passengers had to alight further away from the cordoned area.

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