KOTA KINABALU: Police have yet to ascertain the factor behind the death of elite commando Mejar Mohd Zahir Armaya, who was fatally shot during a live firing demonstration that went awry at an army camp here.
Penampang police chief Deputy Supt Harib Ibrahim said they started their probe into the incident almost immediately after it happened at 8.20am.
He said statements were being recorded from multiple witnesses at the scene, including soldiers.
“We will call whoever we deem necessary, including reporters who were there to cover the event if there is a need, ” he said.
DSP Haris said they were probing the case for negligence but were open to other aspects such as whether there was any problem with the bullet-proof vest, although initial investigations suggested that the bullet had hit Mejor Mohd Zahir outside the vest.
He said they might also look into whether there were elements of foul play in the case.
“We hope to wrap up our investigations as fast as possible and to hand over our findings to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s office for further action, ” he said.
Mejar Zahir, a father of five and son of veteran actor-comedian A.R. Badul, 70, was laid to rest in Ipoh after the incident.
Prior to the incident, he had been participating in a demonstration at the Lok Kawi army camp to mark the launch of the army’s Fifth Infantry Division and 13th Infantry Brigade.
It was learned that as part of the demonstration, Mejar Zahir, taking on the role of a ‘criminal’, was to shoot at a soldier who would then return fire.
However, the soldier apparently missed his mark and the bullet struck Mejar Zahir in a spot not protected by a bullet-proof vest.
Military medics administered immediate treatment before rushing him to the Queen Elizabeth hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 9.20am.