KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian serviceman shot dead three fellow air force personnel at a military base at Kota Samarahan on Friday (Aug 13) before killing himself, police said, a rare case of gun violence in the Southeast Asian nation.
He opened fire at around 7.30am at a guard post at the air force base in Sarawak state, on the Malaysian part of Borneo island, they said.
Two men died at the scene while the third managed to drive to a health clinic after being shot, but succumbed to his injuries. After shooting his colleagues, the serviceman turned the gun on himself.
All of them were on duty at the time of the incident.
Police have identified the four air force personnel who died as Corporal Ho Swee Boon from Lundu, Cpl Mohamad Ehsan Sehamat from Asajaya; Cpl Sharif Mohd Siddiq Al-Attas Wan Sabli from Kuching and aircraftman Luk Nesly anak Nabau from Sibu.
Samarahan police chief Sudirman Kram said an initial investigation found that the suspect had gone on a rampage and entered the guard station at the Handau Squadron 330 camp and took the firearms that were there.
There were several other air force personnel at the guard station at that time, he said.
“The suspect had even asked them whether they want to live or die. Sharif tried to calm him down but he fired a shot that hit Sharif in the stomach, prompting the others to run for safety,” he said in a statement.
“We are shocked and horrified by the shooting,” Sarawak police chief Aidi Ismail told AFP. “Malaysia is a peaceful country, we never expected such an incident.”
Police and the air force are investigating the serviceman’s motives, which are currently unknown.
Fatal shootings are unusual in the country of 32 million due to strict gun ownership laws.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force earlier urged all quarters not to speculate until the police concluded their investigations, and said that they would set up an investigation board to ascertain the cause of the incident.