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Singapore

Police trained to fire at centre of the body to stop threat of serious hurt or death: Shanmugam

The Home Affairs Minister's comments come after a knife-wielding man was shot dead by the police in Bendemeer.

Police trained to fire at centre of the body to stop threat of serious hurt or death: Shanmugam

A photo showing the kitchen knife that was held by the man who was shot in Bendemeer. (Photo: Facebook/K Shanmugam)

SINGAPORE: Officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) are trained to fire at the centre of the body to stop an imminent threat of serious injury or death, said Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Saturday (Mar 26) after a knife-wielding man was shot dead at Bendemeer Road earlier this week. 

The 64-year-old man was shot in the chest by the police after he refused to drop his weapon despite multiple warnings and advanced towards officers. He was tasered three times before an officer fired a shot, the police said on Wednesday.

"Most people understand police actions in this case. But some have asked, whether it was possible to shoot to injure, rather than kill," Mr Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Saturday.

"Our officers are trained to fire at the centre of the body to stop an imminent threat of grievous hurt or death. This offers a higher probability of hitting and reduces risk of injury to innocent bystanders."

He noted that the man was wanted by the Central Narcotics Bureau. 

"He has a history of drug abuse, and suspected drug apparatus was found in his flat. He was also under investigations for several offences, including rash act and voluntarily causing hurt to a police officer," added Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister.

Photos showing a general view of the corridor and deceased’s unit with the gate opened, as well as the suspected drug taking utensil that was found in the unit. (Photo: Facebook/K Shanmugam)

On Wednesday, police said the knife-wielding man continued to advance towards officers after they fired three taser shots, adding that there was "imminent threat" to the safety of the officers.

SPF said its officers did cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the man and he was taken unconscious to hospital. He was later pronounced dead. 

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, said a police spokesperson.

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

On Mar 14, a man was seen wielding a sword at Buangkok Crescent, swinging it at a pedestrian and hitting passing cars.

The suspect, 37-year-old Singaporean Fadhil Yusop, allegedly consumed some unknown pills before leaving his home with the sword. 

He was investigated by the Internal Security Department in 2016 for sharing images online of militant groups such as HAMAS’ Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, but the agency said there was no indication that he was radicalised or intended to engage in armed violence.

Source: CNA/lk(gs)

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