KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/Asia News Network) - Four men were gunned down in a dramatic shootout with police in Wangsa Maju minutes after they had robbed a Chinese national of nearly RM40,000 (S$13,000).
The four, all members of Gang Civic, had tailed the foreigner who had withdrawn the money from a bank in Sri Gombak.
It was learnt that the 32-year-old victim was going to the Institute of Translation and Books at Wangsa Maju, a township in Kuala Lumpur, to settle some business matters.
However, before he could go into the building, the robbers, who were armed with parangs, cornered him and held him at knifepoint.
Three of the men were Indonesians while the fourth was a permanent resident. They were aged between 37 and 49.
"The suspects snatched his bag full of cash and caused him to fall. He injured his hand," city CID chief Senior Asst Comm Rusdi Mohd Isa told reporters at the scene.
He said that at the time, policemen who were on patrol in the area noticed the robbers.
"When police tried to arrest the suspects, they fired at them. The policemen returned fire and all four suspects were killed in the shootout," he said, adding that 11 bullet casings were found at the scene.
He said that police seized two parang and two revolvers from the robbers' Honda Civic.
An executive working nearby, who wanted to be known only as Faridzul, said it was about half past noon when he heard gunshots outside his office.
"My colleague thought it was fireworks. I went out to see what was going on when I saw a policeman running down the road firing several shots at the robbers," he said, adding that he then saw a man lying on the ground covered in blood beside a car 20m from his office.
He added that a policeman then told the people to go inside their offices and not to take any pictures or videos.
"It happened very quickly. It was all over in about 10 minutes," he said.
Another man, Heng, 36, said he had travelled from Johor to Kuala Lumpur to have some documents translated at the ITBM but was stuck outside due to the shootout.
He said that when he arrived, he saw two police cars blocking the suspects' car from the front and back.
A cashier at a petrol station nearby said she heard the shots and thought they were firecrackers.
She said she wanted to go out and see what was going on but was stopped by her colleagues.
"I went out only when the shots stopped."
Police had already cordoned off the area by then, she said.