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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 19 June 2004

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Knife-wielding man attacking police officers shot in arm

A police officer shot and wounded a man armed with a knife for attacking the officer and his partner despite repeated warnings to stop.

At about 3.25 pm today (Friday 18 Jun 2004), Police received a call of someone throwing things down at Blk 648 Hougang Ave 8. Two police sergeants, in their 20s, arrived at the scene shortly and headed up the block of flats.

At the corner of the 7th floor staircase landing, they spotted a Chinese man in his mid-30s, attired in a pair of Bermudas and a T-shirt, slashing an urn which was suspended from the ceiling in front of a 7th floor unit. The urn was eventually cut loose and fell to the ground floor.

The officers approached the knife wielding suspect who then turned at them in a threatening manner. One of the officers then drew out his revolver and warned the man to stop and drop the knife. The suspect did not heed the warnings and continued to approach the officer in an aggressive manner. As the officer's life was in imminent danger, he discharged a single round at the suspect.

At this point, the latter then turned aggressively towards the second officer who was at the staircase landing. The first officer shouted another warning at the suspect, who then turned toward the first officer again. As the suspect was still armed with the knife, the officer fired a second round. The suspect then walked up the staircase to the 8th floor where he was detained by the officers. A knife with a blade length of about 18 cm was recovered at the staircase landing between the 7th and 8th floor.

The man was conveyed to Changi General Hospital with a wound on his right forearm. He was conscious and in stable condition.

Preliminary investigations had established that the suspect, who is unemployed, is a resident at the 7th floor. It was believed that he had earlier caused some disturbance at the block by throwing down flower pots and a chair.

Police are investigating into the case.

On the actions of his officers, Superintendent Somo Vendasan, Commander of Ang Mo Kio Police Division said, "Under the firearm doctrine, the Police will use firearms when there is immediate threat to life or of grievous injuries. Three essential elements must be present:-

"Firstly, the suspect must have the implement or means to inflict grievous bodily harm on the officer or on any member of the public.

"Secondly, the suspect should be making threatening gestures or moves at the victim or police officers that suggest that he may use violence and has every opportunity to inflict harm.

"Thirdly, the victim or the police officer is clearly in imminent danger of death or grievous hurt.

"In this instance, the officers were in close proximity with the suspect who was armed with a knife. This weapon would have the ability to harm an officer or another innocent person. Repeated warnings were also given to the suspect who had approached the officers in a threatening manner. As the suspect was aggressive, and within arm's length of the officers, the officers' lives were placed in imminent danger. The officer was thus justified in discharging his firearm."

Source: Singapore Police Force Media Release 18 Jun 2004

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