KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 23): A criminal investigation officer confirmed today that a man who was killed in a controversial police shooting case in Ampang last year was carrying a weapon.

ASP Jaswent Singh told the inquest into the death of D Dinesh that the deceased, who was shot by police on suspicion of being involved in gang activity, was carrying a machete.

Jaswent, who is attached to the Ampang Jaya police district headquarters, however, did not identify the deceased individual as Dinesh.

“I can definitely say that the deceased who was shot was carrying a weapon,” he told the inquest at the Ampang Magistrate’s Court.

“I saw the machete in the hands of the man who collapsed after being shot,” he added.

However, he could not verify if the other suspects who were present during the shooting were carrying weapons when the incident occurred.

Dinesh, 26, was shot by police on Aug 21 last year in the wee hours of the morning while traveling with friends.

He died at Ampang Hospital two days later after sustaining gun shots to his head and arm.

Friends of Dinesh, who witnessed the shooting, had claimed that the group, who were traveling in several cars, were heading for supper when they were blocked at the traffic light near the Ampang Waterfront by two Proton cars.

They had said plainclothes police officers had alighted and opened fire indiscriminately on the group after Dinesh had got out of his car to inquire about the situation.

However, Ampang police chief ACP Amiruddin Jamaluddin had defended the action by the authorities, citing self-defence.

He had said Dinesh and his friends were aggressive and had charged at policemen with machetes and iron rods after they were stopped on suspicion of being involved in a gang fight at the Pandan Perdana flats.

PKR vice president N Surendran and lawyer Latheefa Koya had brought the case to the fore, criticising the police for the shooting and calling for the suspension of the police officers involved pending an inquiry.

Upon questioning by deputy public prosecutor Purnima Selvarajah, Jaswent related that the entire shooting occurred within three to four minutes.

“It happened so fast,” he said.

It began on Aug 20 last year between 8pm and 9.30pm when police received information from a source that two rival groups within Gang 8 were heading towards an altercation in Ampang.

“There were two groups, one was ‘KT’ and the other ‘Negro’. ‘Negro’ had started a fight with ‘KT’ at Flat 700 in Pandan Perdana. I received information from my source that group ‘KT’ will take revenge on group ‘Negro’ in Ampang,” he said.

Police then had a briefing with about 12 police officers and at 1am left in four cars to find the gangs.

Although the police officers were in plainclothes, all of them carried police vests, said Jaswent.

The police patrolled several areas in Ampang such as Taman Kosas, Taman Watan and Lembah Maju before locating between 12 and 13 cars in a convoy near Ampang Waterfront.

“They had covered their number plates with white paper and the back of their windscreens with newspaper,” he said.

“The convoy was heading towards Jalan Bukit Belacan. We followed the cars to Lembah Jaya, Tasik Permai and then towards Seri Bayu flats.”

“One car, a red Sonata, made a U-turn but we stuck to the convoy and before long, the entire fleet also made a U-turn towards Tasik Permai,” he added.

Police then noticed that the red Sonata was parked alongside the road while the fleet of cars were heading straight towards a traffic light, he said.

Jaswent said the red Sonata slipped in before two of the police cars.

One police car, WMJ8243, passed the traffic light with the other cars associated with the gang, he said.

“Two guys got down from the red Sonata and broke the windscreen of the police Wira Aeroback. We got out and shouted ‘police’. One of the police officers, Corporal Iru, tried to stop the (men in) the red Sonata,” he said.

“Constable Ganesh, Corporal Azizan and I ran towards WMJ8243. About 15 to 20m before the car, I saw two men hacking at the police car. I fired a shot in the air as my men were under threat.

“I saw a few others running towards the car. I couldn’t see if they had weapons. I fired a shot to my right side where one of the guys was hacking at the car. To my left, one of the men was hacking the car and tried to attack Corporal Thamu who wanted to get out of the car.

“Constable Ganesh fired two simultaneous shots and one guy fell. Corporal Thamu fired shots at the gang’s car tires. The man who collapsed had a shot to the arm,” he added.

Jaswent then called the Ampang Jaya IPD for the dispatch of an ambulance, which arrived about half-an-hour after the incident.

he added that machetes and iron rods were retrieved from the scene.

Upon questioning from Eric Paulsen, who is representing the family, Jaswent said the Forensics Department then took over the investigation at the scene.

Jaswent also could not ascertain how many shots were fired by the police.

He also said while a copy of the Inspector-General of Police’s standard operating procedures on the use of firearms was available at all district police headquarters but  he was not privy to it and could not reveal the contents of the document to the court.

The inquest resumes on Nov 13.

by Meena Lakshana, fz.com