KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A man in Sabah held a toddler at knifepoint for almost five hours, causing bleeding gashes on her neck before he attempted to throw her out a window on the fourth floor of a block of flats.
A police sharpshooter eventually shot the man dead and saved the little girl.
That ended the five-hour hostage situation in the Malaysian state which started at about noon in the densely populated Taman Telipok Ria housing project, about 29km away from the city here, on Sunday (Jan 13).
Police rushed the child down to a waiting ambulance.
The girl, who is yet to be identified, was taken to the Likas Women and Children's Hospital.
Sabah police commissioner Omar Mammah said the girl suffered cuts to her neck, but he believes she will be all right.
Datuk Omar said the man made no demands during the stand-off with the police.
Police were informed about the case at about 4pm after residents initially tried to disarm the unidentified man and save the child.
Mr Omar said the suspect was holding a knife and had grabbed a child who was playing with toys at a corridor along the fourth floor of the block.
He then entered a unit where an elderly man was performing his zohor prayers in a room.
The suspect told the man not to come out and then sat down in the hall with the child.
Residents broke open the main door of the house but the man continued to threaten to harm the child.
The child had some injuries by then and her neck was bleeding.
When the police came in, the man refused to talk and eventually tried to throw the child from the kitchen window.
The police decided to shoot at this point, Mr Omar added.
Police have yet to establish the suspect's background and believe he was either of unsound mind or was on drugs.
The suspect, in his 30s, was not known to the residents.