A Chinese national stabbed himself on the ninth-floor ledge of a Housing Board block in Tampines, leaving the area heavily bloodstained, after allegedly killing a woman in the bedroom of a flat in the next block.
The 37-year-old was heard negotiating loudly with police officers and threatening to jump.
After climbing back to safety, he was arrested and taken to Changi General Hospital sometime after 3am yesterday morning, after a dramatic few hours which shocked the neighbourhood.
Police said that they received a call for assistance at 11.43pm on Tuesday. When they arrived at the seventh-floor flat at Block 503, Tampines Central 1, they found a woman, who is believed to be from China as well, lying motionless in a bedroom.
Paramedics pronounced the woman, who is believed to be in her 20s and romantically involved with the suspect, dead at 12.10am.
By then, the alleged killer had run to Block 505, carrying a knife. SCDF officers set up an airbag at the foot of the block.
Lim Ai Lee, who lives on the eighth floor of Block 505, said that she heard "very tense" shouting in heavily-accented Mandarin, although she could not make out the words.
From her bedroom window, the 41-year-old teacher saw "red, wet splotches" on the staircase landing ledge, but thought they were paint from construction works.
"There was so much. Who would have thought it was blood?" she told The Straits Times.
The five-room flat where the alleged murder happened was rented to a group of Chinese nationals. The suspect had only moved in on Tuesday night and the victim arrived soon after - around 9pm.
The tenants added that they had not seen the new additions before. But at about 10.45pm or so, the suspect and the woman began fighting in their room.
The other occupants heard shouting from behind the locked door, The Straits Times was told, although next-door neighbours said that they heard nothing.
The noise inside the room lasted for 10 minutes, followed by silence.
The suspect was then seen emerging from the room with a bloodied knife, wrapped partially in paper. He locked the room door behind him and ran to the neighbouring block.
The other occupants called the flat's master tenant, who was out at work at the time.
When he got back, he unlocked the bedroom door to find the woman lying face down, fully clothed, on a mattress, the walls stained with blood.
"I shouted 'Hello? Hello?' but she was not responsive, so I called the police," the master tenant said, declining to give his name or occupation.
Speaking to reporters, he said the suspect had contacted him over the weekend with an urgent request for accommodation.
The suspect also mentioned that his wife would be accompanying him on some nights, added the master tenant, who had lived in the flat for the past year and has been helping the flat owners manage the subleasing.
A neighbour, Neo Kim Tian, said that some of the tenants are believed to be factory workers as they had uniforms on when they went to work.
"The unit has always been quiet," added the 54-year-old maintenance worker.
He did not hear anything on Tuesday night.
The police have classified the case as murder and said investigations are ongoing. As of press time, the condition of the suspect was not known.
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