Trader killed in front of family during prayer ceremony

JOHOR BARU - What was supposed to be a peaceful prayer ceremony at a temple at Taman Nusantara in Gelang Patah turned tragic when businessman K. Jaganathan (pic) was gunned down right in front of his family.

The family was in the midst of performing special prayers at the temple on Friday evening when two men wearing helmets approached and one of them took out a gun from his shoes and started to fire several shots at the 37-year-old victim who is believed to be a member of Gang 21.

The victim's mother M. Letchumi, 63, wailed while relating the incident when met at the deceased home in Taman Mutiara Rini here yesterday.

"What wrong did he do? Why did they shoot my son mercilessly," she screamed while other family members tried to calm her down.

Relating the incident, Letchumi said the family was praying inside the temple at around 7.30pm when she saw the gunman firing a shot to his son's chest.

"He then fell to my legs while screaming "Amma" (Mother). Before I could pick him up, he was shot on the shoulder a second time.

"I was holding him in my arms when the shooter shot him again on his back," she said, adding that she could still remember her son screaming for help and crying in pain.

"Whoever did this to my son is heartless. We were in a temple with other devotees. And he was killed in front of his three young children," she cried.

Meanwhile, the victim's elder brother, who did not want to be named, said that Jaganathan was no longer involved with any gang.

"It was all in the past. He had repented and left the gang after he got married as he had his family to take care of," he said.

In the recent years, he said, Jaganathan had only attended to his logistics and cow rearing businesses.

Johor police chief Senior Deputy Comm Datuk Mohd Mokhtar Mohd Shariff said police have picked a man in his 30s near the temple about three hours after the incident to assist with the investigations.

He said initial investigations showed that the two suspects entered the temple before firing several shots at the victim.

"The victim had eight past criminal records and was once detained under the Emergency Ordinance," he said.