Family wants independent inquiry into teen’s fatal shooting


By Clara Chooi May 15, 2011


A tearful Salmah speaks to reporters outside the Damansara police station, May 15, 2011. — Pictures by Choo Choy May

PETALING JAYA, May 15 — The family of Johari Abu Bakar have demanded an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the 17-year-old’s shooting, accusing the police today of giving inconsistent accounts of the incident.
The family will also file a court petition tomorrow, seeking for a second post-mortem on the school dropout, due to “suspicious” signs of assault found on the boy’s body, including a broken right arm.

Johari, an odd-job worker, was killed in a shootout with the police behind a budget hotel at the Cyber Valley Commercial Centre, Dengkil, at about 10.30pm on Friday.

According to a media statement by Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah following the incident, the suspect had been in his “20s” and was believed to have been hiding in the hotel after stealing a Toyota Alphard multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) near Taman Megah, Kelana Jaya, on May 10.

Upon spotting the vehicle parked behind the hotel on Friday evening, the police ambushed Johari as he was attempting to leave the vicinity in the MPV that night.

The police also claimed that the boy had reversed the MPV into a patrol car and fired several shots, forcing the cops to retaliate in kind.
Injured from the shots, Johari eventually stumbled out of the car onto the road and died moments later. He was found with a semi-automatic gun and several bullets.

But Johari’s mother, housewife Salmah Mohamed Shariff, insisted today that her son was not a criminal and had never been in possession of any weapon.

“He is a good and obedient boy. I refuse to believe that he was in possession of any gun,” she told reporters today after lodging a report on the incident at the Damansara police station here.

Salmah was accompanied by her two elder sons, pub doorman Abdul Razak, 21, and kitchen helper Mohamad Rosli, 20; Johari’s grandmother, Jamilah Magar Saib, 56; Subang MP R. Sivarasa; Bukit Lanjan assemblyman Elizabeth Wong; Suhakam commissioner James Nagayam and several others.

She complained of discrepancies in the circumstances surrounding Johari’s death, particularly in the accounts given in the media and to her yesterday by a policeman named “Afendi”.

“The policeman told me that my son was with four others at the time and they were being marked for five days before his death.

“They claimed that my son shot at them and the four others had escaped during the shootout. I find this hard to believe,” she said.

Afendi, she added, had also claimed that her son had released eight shots at the police before being shot at in return.

The teary-eyed 41-year-old added she was also suspicious of the condition of her son’s body when she was allowed to see him at the Serdang hospital morgue yesterday.

Sivarasa, who was also at the morgue with the family, said that Johari’s right arm was clearly broken.

“You can see that the right arm was broken. It’s like a V-shape. Question is, how did he break his arm? After or before the shooting?” he asked.

He added that when Afendi, who is from the Dengkil police station, was questioned about the arm, the latter had claimed that there was nothing wrong with the arm.
“The family is also unhappy with the hospital. Firstly, they were only allowed to see Johari’s body for several seconds.

“Next, when the post-mortem was completed, they were not informed by the doctor in charge who, coincidentally, is the same pathologist who conducted the first post-mortem on A. Kugan, which was later disproved in court,” said Sivarasa.

He also said that Johari has no criminal records to date.

“We are not against any lawful capture of a person deemed to be a criminal. But if indeed he is guilty, he should be caught and tried in court and not shot dead,” said Sivarasa.

“I just want justice for my son. He is not a bad person and I cannot accept that the police are turning him into a criminal” said Salmah.

“If he has done something wrong, arrest him and jail him, do not shoot him.”

She added that she last saw her son a week ago and last heard from him on Friday, supposedly seconds before his death.

“He called me but just as I picked up his call, he was gone. I think that was the time when he was shot dead,” she said.

Johari’s grandmother Jamilah said she last saw her grandson two days ago at her house in Kayu Ara here.

“He left home when his friends called him out for a drink and he never came home. We were worried about him,” she said.

Johari’s brothers explained that the youth had dropped out of school when he was in Form Two, after their father’s death.

According to Malay daily Kosmo! the father had also been shot dead two years ago by the police, on suspicion of being involved in a kidnapping and several other serious crimes in Selangor.