LAHAD DATU: The shootout in the heart of this east coast Sabah town gave residents the jitters because they thought they were facing another intrusion from armed groups from across the border.
A soldier from Kelantan was killed and two civilians injured in the early shooting yesterday involving a commando outside a convenience store.
“I heard shots and immediately thought it was an attack,” said Wong, a grocer living in one of the shophouses close to Jalan Seroja, a block from the scene.
He only calmed down when he found out the shooting was triggered by a fight.
Minah, a housewife, was preparing breakfast for her husband at about 4.30am when she heard the loud bangs.
She immediately recalled last year’s intrusion and only breathed easier when her husband’s friend told them about a fight near their house where gunshots were fired.
The dead soldier was identified as 28-year-old Lans Kpl Mohd Fiffixezafey Mat Hussin (pic) from Pasir Puteh.
He died from a gunshot to the chest. He was taken to Lahad Datu Hospital, where the two injured Indonesians, aged 31 and 38, are receiving treatment for gunshot wounds.
One of them is a bouncer who works at a karaoke outlet in the vicinity.
Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Hamza Taib said that the commando involved in the shooting returned to his army camp soon after the 4.45am incident.
He said the commando, who was believed to have fired several shots, was on patrol duty when the shooting occurred following an apparent commotion outside the Gemilang 24-hour convenience store.
He added that the police recovered several bullet casings believed to be from an M4 rifle from the scene. The shooting is being investigated under Section 302 and 307 of the Penal Code for murder and attempted murder.
Several versions of what happened were the talk of the town following the shooting.
One version said the commando was with a group of soldiers returning from a reconnaissance when a commotion occurred as they passed by the convenience store.
A misunderstanding is believed to have ensued, leading to the shooting.
Another version is that the shooting happened after a night out by a group of soldiers, who met the commando outside the convenience store.
Comm Hamza said the police had detained the commando and 10 other soliders and their statements had been recorded together with that of three civilians who witnessed the shooting.
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