GEORGE TOWN: An argument between a bodyguard and his boss in a car ended in a rampage where the former fired 17 shots, killing his boss and two other motorists.
Four others were also injured by stray bullets during the incident that took place on the Penang Bridge-bound Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway, while a fifth person was pistol-whipped by the bodyguard.
A source said the bodyguard, in his 30s and said to be mentally unstable, had uttered some prayers before going berserk with his Glock 19mm semi-automatic pistol.
The source said the bodyguard, who was in the back seat, had an argument with Datuk Ong Teik Kwong, who was driving his BMW at the time.
A third person, said to be Ong’s driver and business partner, was sitting in the front passenger seat during the 7.30pm incident. He did not drive because he had had too much to drink.
“There was an argument and the bodyguard went berserk. All of sudden, he whipped out his pistol and shot Ong in the head from behind. After that, he hit Ong’s driver on the head with the pistol,” the source said, although he would not reveal what had triggered the argument.
The driver then ran for his life with the gunman chasing on foot.
“He fired at the driver but missed. The stray bullets hit several innocent passers-by, killing two and injuring four,” said the source.
Besides Ong, the two others killed were flower supplier M. Senthil, 38, and entertainer Choi Hon Ming, 32.
Police reached the scene minutes later.
“One of the policemen pointed a gun at the bodyguard, who put down his pistol and surrendered,” the source said.
Ong’s driver, who suffered a head injury, was taken away by the police at Penang Hospital at 12.15am yesterday.
A post-mortem showed that Ong died of a gunshot wound to the head, while Senthil and Choi died of gunshot wounds to the chest.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the bodyguard had been suffering from mental problems, according to family members.
“We have seized the pistol used in the shooting,” he said, adding that the bodyguard had a permit to carry and use firearms and that the pistol belonged to a security company.
Khalid said the man had no criminal record, and had been an army reservist. After visiting the victims at Penang Hospital, IGP Khalid said all the injured are out of danger.
“Two of them, including RTM videographer Mohamad Amirul Amir, have just been operated on. We pray for their quick recovery,” he said.
Asked if Ong was connected to any triad, Khalid said police would look into the matter.
“He has no past criminal record,” he said. Of the four injured people, three are still in the Intensive Care Unit of Penang Hospital, while the fourth is receiving treatment in the high dependency unit at the same hospital.