BATU PAHAT • A man who held a ceramics shop owner hostage in Ayer Hitam was shot dead by police after he tried to shoot the 53-year-old woman.
The Johor town, nearly two hours by car from Johor Baru, is popular with Singaporeans for its pottery, trinkets and wedding gifts.
The 44-year-old suspect was believed to have entered Ah Son Pottery Centre at 8.20pm on Thursday and demanded money from the victim, said Johor's Criminal Investigation Department (CID) chief, Senior Assistant Commissioner Kamarul Zaman Mamat.
Failing to get the cash, the suspect confined the victim in a room at the shop, with police negotiating for her release for four hours.
SAC Kamarul Zaman said the family relented and agreed to pay the man RM300,000 (S$100,000) that was demanded.
However, the man refused to release the victim.
"It was when the suspect tried to shoot the victim that police took action and fired at him," SAC Kamarul Zaman told reporters at the scene yesterday.
Police fired two shots which killed the suspect at around 12.30am, the CID chief added.
The victim is safe but traumatised and she has been sent to a nearby hospital.
Police found a revolver and a semi-automatic pistol, both of which were loaded.
"We are investigating the connection between the victim and the suspect. They probably knew each other," SAC Kamarul Zaman said.
He added that the police were still investigating the motive for the ransom demand.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK