61-year-old man arrested after slashing incident at Pasir Ris West Plaza

61-year-old man arrested after slashing incident at Pasir Ris West Plaza
The incident happened at around 4pm at Pasir Ris West Plaza on Dec 20.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE – Three people were injured in a slashing incident at a mall in Pasir Ris Street 72, with shoppers and business owners running for cover amid the chaos.

The incident happened on Wednesday (Dec 20) at around 4pm at Pasir Ris West Plaza.

A Pasir Ris resident, who was at the mall just after the attack, said the victims were from Royal Regent, a provision shop selling a variety of items such as phone products, sandals and bags.

Police officers working at the scene of a slashing incident at Pasir Ris West Plaza on Dec 20. PHOTO: The Straits Times

“They were covered in blood, and there were over 30 police officers at the scene, including several armed with rifles,” said the resident, who declined to be named.

Another resident, who gave his name as Mr Lee, said the victims are the owners of the provision shop, which has been at the mall for about 20 years.

“They were very heavily bandaged, and the injuries looked very bad,” added the taxi driver.

The assailant was known to the victims, and police said their preliminary investigations showed that the individuals were not on friendly terms.

The victims – a 53-year-old man and two women, aged 53 and 55 – were conscious when taken to hospital.

“A 61-year-old man was conveyed semi-conscious to the hospital and was subsequently arrested for voluntarily causing grievous hurt with a dangerous weapon,” said the police, who were alerted to the incident at about 4.50pm.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force said the four individuals were taken to Sengkang General Hospital. 

The Straits Times understands that the two women are sisters. A frequent patron of the shop spoke to the mother of the two women.

Said the patron: “The mother said her daughters, though injured, fought off the assailant until he collapsed outside the shop.”

The assailant is believed to be working at a mobile phone shop in Pasir Ris.

Several witnesses said the attacker was armed with a knife. PHOTO: The Straits Times

In a Facebook post, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean said the suspect is believed to have acted alone, adding that the incident was not random.

“It is believed that it may be related to an ongoing dispute between the parties involved in the incident,” said SM Teo, who is an MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC.

He added that the four injured persons were in stable condition.

When ST visited the mall at 6.30pm, the police were still at the scene interviewing witnesses. A cordon had been set up around the shop, where socks and shoes were strewn on the floor, with some items covered in blood.

An employee working in a pharmacy two shops down said she heard a woman scream at around 4pm.

The employee, who declined to be named, said she recognised the voice behind the scream as that of the woman who works in the sundry shop tucked between the pharmacy and the provision shop.

The employee said she ran, fearing for her safety, and did not see the attacker.

According to passers-by, the provision shop also provides mobile phone services, including sales and repairs.

A plainclothes police officer was seen speaking to a man, who other business owners identified as an employee of the shop. His hands were smeared with what appeared to be dried blood.

A police officer was seen speaking to a man that other business owners identified as an employee of the shop. PHOTO: The Straits Times

In 2022, the Ministry of Home Affairs sought to reassure the public following a number of violent incidents that year involving a bladed weapon.

The ministry said that for urgent incidents, including those involving dangerous weapons, the police are generally able to respond within 15 minutes of the call.

Between 2017 and 2021, there were about 150 knife-related crimes annually involving murder, robbery, rioting and serious hurt.

This is a developing story.

  • Additional reporting by Christine Tan

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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