Families seek explanation for shooting deaths

GEORGE TOWN - Family members of the five men shot dead by police are demanding an explanation for the shooting.

More than 50 family members and friends of the deceased gathered outside the Penang mortuary last night seeking answers.

One of the deceased's uncle, S. Nadarajah, said they could not claim the five bodies as investigations were pending.

"Why did they have to shoot the men when they could've just fired a warning shot? They were all sleeping inside. I believe the police could have easily apprehended them," the 62-year-old told reporters.

V.R. Murugasen, 52, the father of one of the men, is furious and baffled as to how his son and four friends were identified as members of the notorious Gang 04.

"My son has no criminal record, so how can he be affiliated to the gang? I think the police are lying just to cover their backs.

"The five of them grew up together and had just moved into the apartment three days ago. There were very close and some of them would come over to my house for meals," he said.

Murugasen said he was told of his son's death when a friend from Kuala Lumpur read about it in an online report.

"I will lodge a police report as they need not shoot at the men. I believe they could just have apprehended them without discharging any shots," he added.

Seri Delima assemblyman R.S.N. Rayer, who was also at the mortuary, said he would help the family lodge a report at the Patani Road police station.

"I'd like to call on Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Penang police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi to provide the deceased's families with a satisfactory explanation.

"Even if they did have criminal records, they should have been arrested and brought to court to be charged and not brutally gunned down," he said.

Family members of the deceased had been waiting to see the bodies at the mortuary since 11am.

Things became quite tense with the police when one of the family members threw a helmet into the mortuary's compound.