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Knife-wielding man dies after being shot by police at Bendemeer Road

Knife-wielding man dies after being shot by police at Bendemeer Road

Knife used by a man who had been shot by a police officer along Bendemeer Road on Mar 23, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Try Sutrisno Foo)

SINGAPORE: A 64-year-old man armed with a knife died on Wednesday (Mar 23) after he was shot in the chest by the police at Block 33 Bendemeer Road.

This was after he refused to drop his weapon despite multiple warnings and was tasered three times, said the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

The police said they were alerted to the man at 4.07pm after he was reported to be shouting and armed with a knife while walking near the block.

When police engaged the man, he came out of a unit and brandished a knife at officers. 

"The officers instructed the man to drop the weapon, but he refused to comply despite multiple warnings," said SPF.

"The man then advanced towards the officers, still armed with the knife. The police officers fired three taser shots at the man and retreated to create distance between the man and them. However, he continued to advance towards the officers," it added.

“As there was imminent threat to the safety of the officers, one of the officers fired a shot from his pistol at the man, and the man fell to the ground."

Officers did cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man and he was taken to hospital while unconscious. The man was pronounced dead at 5.13pm.

A police spokesperson said officers are trained to fire at the centre of the body if they have to stop an imminent threat of grievous hurt or death.

”In dynamic situations, this offers a higher probability of hitting, and the shot is more likely to stop the subject. This also reduces the risk of injuries to innocent bystanders from stray bullets,” the spokesperson said.

Regarding the effectiveness of tasers, the spokesperson said that these are not always able to fully incapacitate a person.

The effect of the taser varies from person to person, and is influenced by factors such as where the taser probes land, the spokesperson added.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the man had been “walking up and down” his block while holding on to his knife, police said.

They added that he approached a student in uniform but the student was able to walk away.

The man was a known drug offender and was wanted by the Central Narcotics Bureau, the police said, adding that drug apparatus was found in his unit.

He also had a pending investigation for alleged offences of rash act and voluntarily causing hurt to deter a public servant from his duty, police said.

In that case in September last year, he allegedly threw items out of his window, and when officers engaged him, he used a chair to injure an officer. The man was out on bail.

Police investigations are ongoing, with a coroner’s inquiry expected.

The investigations will also look at whether the man was on drugs when the incident happened, the police spokesperson said.

L-R: Central Police Division Head of Investigation SUPT Tan Pit Seng, Central Police Division Commander DAC Jeremy Ang, Commanding Officer of Rochor NPC SUPT Gabriel Chen at a press conference on Mar 23, 2022. (Photo: CNA/Try Sutrisno Foo)

This is the second time in slightly more than a month that a police officer has shot someone in the line of duty.

On Feb 18, a 49-year-old man was shot outside Clementi neighbourhood police centre after he charged at an officer, also with a knife. Police said there had been an “imminent threat” to the officer.

The man, who had a gunshot wound in his left arm, was arrested for his suspected involvement in a case of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt with a dangerous weapon.

He was taken to hospital while conscious and was in a stable condition, police said then.

Before this year, the last two times an officer discharged a firearm operationally was in 2020, during a raid on a Balestier home, and in 2015, when police fatally shot the driver of a car that ploughed through police barricades near Shangri-La Hotel.

In a media release on Wednesday, SPF noted a recent spate of incidents involving people endangering public safety while armed with dangerous weapons.

“Police officers have a duty to ensure public safety,” said Commander Central Police Division Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Jeremy Ang, who oversees officers that responded to the latest incident.

“We face dangerous situations in the course of our work and will take decisive action, where necessary, including using necessary force, to subdue persons who pose a danger to the public or to our officers.”

Source: CNA/vc

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