PETALING JAYA, Nov 20 — The families of two of the three youths shot dead on November 13 after being suspected of robbing a petrol station claimed that they were killed by police in cold blood.
Mohd Shamil Hafiz Shapiei, 15, Hairul Nizam Tuah, 20, and Mohd Hanafi Omar, 22, were shot dead by the police after a reported high-speed car chase in the early morning of November 13 in Glenmarie, Shah Alam.
“This was a gangland-style execution by police officers,” said lawyer N. Surendran (picture), who represented Shamil’s and Hairul’s families, at a press conference at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters today.
“We have gathered enough evidence,” he added.
The lawyer said the latest shooting underscored the importance of a royal commission of inquiry, following the case of 14-year-old Aminulrasyid Amzah who was fatally shot by the police in Shah Alam on April 26.
“No child is safe on our streets. Any child out early in the morning is liable to be shot by the police,” said Surendran.
“We need a royal commission (of inquiry),” he added.
Selangor acting police chief Datuk A. Thaiveegan reportedly defended his officers’ actions by describing the three suspected robbers as “seasoned criminals” who were allegedly involved in at least three armed robberies in Selangor last week.
He claimed that the police shot the suspects in self-defence as they had allegedly rushed to attack the policemen with machetes after a car chase at about 4.10am on November 13.
Surendran, however, dismissed such claims as lies.
“This is a lie by the police,” said the human rights lawyer.
He pointed out that based on the families’ observations of the bodies, Shamil, Hairul and Hanafi each sported two gunshot wounds on their heads and chests.
“All three were shot in the head and chest with bullets exiting lower,” said Surendran.
“This shows the shots were fired at close range, which is inconsistent (with police claims) that the shots were fired in self-defence,” he added.
The lawyer also said the trajectory of the bullets on Hairul’s body indicated that Hairul’s shooter had shot him from a higher position.
“This indicates that the victims were kneeling. Hairul also had a black eye,” said Surendran.
“Shamil was shot directly in the centre of his forehead,” he added.
The lawyer said the families’ legal team would seek the opinion of forensic pathologists on the case.
“We’ll ask for an appointment with forensic pathologists from Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang,” said Surendran.He added that Shamil’s and Hairul’s families are demanding for the policemen responsible for the youths’ deaths to be suspended and charged with murder.
“The families want the policemen suspended and charged for the offence of murder. This was blue murder by the police,” said Surendran.
“They also want an apology for accusing them (the youth) of being criminals,” said the lawyer.
Both families filed police reports at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters today, claiming that the two boys were murdered by the police.
“Tomorrow is Shamil’s birthday,” said his mother Norhafizah Mad Razali, before breaking down in tears.
In her police report, the 36-year-old businesswoman said her son did not have any criminal record and did not know how to drive a car.
“My son was a good boy who went for religious classes,” said Norhafizah.
Meanwhile, Subang MP R. Sivarasa called for an independent investigation into the deaths and for the police officers to be charged.
“We’ll ask the government to set up a royal commission of inquiry. I’ll bring this up in Parliament,” said Sivarasa.
“But the first step is to charge those murderers. How many more cases like this do we have to see?” he asked.
Besides Aminulrasyid, a second case involving the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Mohd Afham Arin in Johor Baru on October 20 last year has also surfaced after the victim’s mother recently demanded an independent commission to investigate the case.
According to human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), 88 people died in police shootings last year.
The NGO also claimed that not even one police officer was held accountable and that the high number of deaths in 2009 was “alarming”, considering that there were only 13 such cases in the previous two years.