Shanmugam Explains Why Officer Has to Fire at Knife-Wielding Man at Bendemeer


On 23 March, another dangerous incident involving a sharp weapon occurred which called for the intervention by the police.

The only difference was that this violent act by the perpetrator had ended in a gunshot. The 64-year-man had brandished a knife and wielded it despite repeated warnings by the police officers to stop.

One of the officers ended up firing a shot from his service pistol when they realised the taser shots that had been fired previously were not stopping the man from advancing towards them.

Officers had performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) immediately on the man when he fell to the ground and was unconscious. The man has since passed away.

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Shanmugam Steps Out to Explain  

Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, K. Shanmugam, came out to clarify why was it necessary for the police officer to do two things: to discharge his service pistol and why the gunshot had to be aimed at the chest of the knife-wielding man.

This was because some members of the public felt like the life of the perpetrator could still have been saved had the gunshot been aimed at other areas, such as the limbs, to incapacitate the perpetrator from causing further danger.

However, Shanmugam had clarified that this was not part of the training given for police officers.

“Our officers are trained to fire at the centre of the body to stop an imminent threat of grievous hurt or death,” said the minister in his Facebook post.

To do otherwise would increase the chances of the bullet missing the perpetrator and risk of injury to other bystanders.

Perpetrator had History of Drug Abuse 

Further investigation revealed that the perpetrator was a drug user who was also a wanted person by Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB).

Drug apparatus was also found in his flat and the perpetrator was also involved in previous incidents which resulted in harm being caused to a public servant and endangered the safety of the public. As of 23 March, police investigation for this incident is still ongoing.

Previously, on 18 February, another police officer also had to resort to firing their service pistol when a 49-year-old man charged at an officer with a knife. He had been taken to the hospital while he was still conscious and was in stable condition.

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Featured Image: Facebook (Minister of Law and Minister of Home Affairs, K. Shanmugam Sc)