Thursday November 1, 2012
Toddler caught in crossfire as gunman is shot dead
By SAZUKI EMBONG
MACHANG: A 17-month-old child was caught in a crossfire between a suspected criminal and the police, which ended in the suspect being killed and a policeman injured.
The dead gunman, identified as Zawa Abdul Halim, is said to be the same person who shot another policeman near a roadblock in Paloh, Gua Musang, on Monday.
Toddler Muhammad Haikal Muhammad Haikal Harraz came out unscathed in a dramatic cop-and-robber chase that started after his father's car was hijacked outside a mosque in Paloh.
Kpl Mat Raduan Mat Husin, 50, was shot in the ribs in the 7.30am incident along Km45 of the Machang-Kuala Krai road yesterday.
Zawa, 34, believed to be the ringleader in 15 armed robbery and drug-trafficking cases, was shot dead when he opened fire at policemen after the car he was driving skidded and crashed at a T-junction.
Just an hour earlier, he had entered the parked car outside the mosque and forced the driver, Rizal Harun, and his wife to get out at gunpoint.
Recalling the harrowing moment, Rizal said he was terrified when the gunman drove away with Muhammad Haikal asleep in the back seat.
“I wanted to grab my son but could not do so as it happened very quickly,” he said at the Machang Hospital.
Police, when alarted, gave chase and the fleeing Zawa lost control of the car.
When the car crashed, he rushed out and opened fire at the police. The policemen returned fire and Zawa was killed while Kpl Mat Raduan was shot in the ribs.
On Monday, Zawa and an accomplice had tried to ecape from a police roadblock in Paloh after breaking into the home of a businessman.
They were chased by L/Kpl Mohd Shamsul Anuar Mohd Adnan on a motorcycle.
The lance corporal was shot in the chest and was rushed to the Raja Perempuan Zainab II Hospital in Kota Baru.
Kelantan deputy police chief Datuk Mazlan Lazim said police were still hunting for the accomplice, believed to be hiding in an oil palm plantation.