Injured cop recounts gun battle with armed robbers in Miri

Lee visiting William at Miri Hospital.

By Jaythaleela K

MIRI, May 17: Miri mobile police vehicle (MPV) officer Corporal William Bell Jol has described the shootout with three masked and armed robbers at Taman Jelita, here, yesterday afternoon as his toughest in his 33 years as a policeman.

He was shot on his left arm when answering the call to help a family of four, including a 4-year-old boy, who was held hostage by three men armed with semi-automatic guns.

“All I could think of then was to protect the victims inside the house,” he said at Miri Hospital, where he is warded.

Before the alarm was raised, William and his partner, Constable Mohd Roni Abd Manap, 26, were at Morsjaya on regular patrol rounds. Morsjaya is about 5km from Taman Jelita.

“When the call for help came in, I immediately drove to the scene. And upon arriving there, we could see the suspects inside the house, armed with semi-automatic guns,” he said.

Before long, a firefight ensued and at least 10 gunshots were exchanged.

“The moment I got shot, one of the suspects was also wounded,” William said.

Anyway, he said he was glad all four victims and Mohd Roni were safe.

Meanwhile, Assistant Minister for Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin hoped the Home Ministry would think of ways to better protect those in the MPV division.

“Perhaps, provide them with bulletproof vests when they are patrolling. Our policemen need greater protection as they risk their lives to safeguard the public,” emphasised Lee.

Lee also hoped the police would give this case top priority attention and catch the third suspect soon.

“As a concerned citizen, I hope police will catch the remaining suspect and also conduct an in-depth investigation as to how the suspects gained access to the semi-automatic guns,” he said.

Lee thanked the police, especially William and Mohd Roni, for saving the family of four.

“Their (police) swift action at that time saved the family. Fortunately, Corporal William and Mohd Roni were at Morsjaya patrolling when they were alert,” said Lee. — DayakDaily