Boy, 4, takes bullet meant for dad

Shawn Yashwin was with his father near their apartment compound when a gunman opened fire on them. The gunman had fully directed his shots at Shawn's father, but missed him and wounded the four-year-old boy instead.

PENANG - The bullets were apparently aimed at the father, but it was the four-year-old son who was hit.

The boy, Shawn Yashwin, is lucky to be alive after he was shot in the leg and after a ricocheting bullet grazed him on the forehead, The Star reported.

He underwent a 3½-hour operation to remove the bullet from his left leg. He is conscious and in a stable condition.

The boy was with his father, Mr E. Beritto, 33, a car repossessor, in a Bukit Jambul apartment compound in Bayan Lepas, Penang, when the shooting occurred at 10.45pm on Thursday.

Mr Beritto had been talking to a friend when two men on a motorcycle stopped near them. One of the men opened fire, but all the shots missed him.

A relative, Ms Catherine Benedict, 50, said Shawn was rushed to the operating theatre of a private hospital at about 1am and regained consciousness at about 8am.

Penang CID chief Senior Assistant Commissioner Mazlan Kesah said Mr Beritto and his friend were unhurt.

He said the gunman, who was wearing a black jacket, gloves and a full-face helmet, fired from a distance of 5m to 10m. SAC Mazlan said Mr Beritto has no criminal record.

The New Straits Times reported that a suspect in his 30s was arrested on Friday in connection with the shooting. SAC Mazlan said the suspect was detained based on the statement recorded from the victim's father.

SAC Mazlan said a witness saw a motorist dropping off the gunman, who walked towards Mr Beritto.

"He was seen holding a pistol and started firing. Everyone dashed for cover and the gunman ran away after sensing that he had missed his target."