Singapore Police Officer Disarmed and Shot With His Own Gun

Last Saturday, a suspect was arrested for theft of a motor vehicle in Singapore. The 23 year old suspect complained about chest pain and was taken to the Hospital. There the suspect was placed in a room away from the public. There were two police officers, however when one went to submit information to the hospital, the suspect managed to subdue the other officer and take his side arm. The officer managed to regain control of the suspect and stopped his escape. During the scuffle, the suspect managed to fire three shots. The officer was shot in his left thumb and right foot. According to an article from Straitstimes, the suspect will be charged with unlawful discharge of firearms under the Arms Offences Act. A crime punishable by death.

If you look at Singapore’s Arms Offences Act, just possession of an illegal arm, which includes imitations and air pistols is punishable by 5-10 years in prison and caning (bamboo) not less than 6 strokes.

You can look at this Act in more detail here.

The Straits Times spoke with current and former police about their policies for drawing a weapon.

1. Most police officers are issued with a .38 inch caliber Taurus revolver. The revolver comes with a five-chambered cylinder, and a “speed loader” which allows the user to reload all chambers quickly at the same time.

2. The revolver is housed in a tight moulded holster secured to the belt. Its design forces a user to draw the gun vertically, preventing the weapon from being snatched from behind the officer.

3. The gun’s butt is also attached to the police officer’s belt by an elastic rubber lanyard, which makes it difficult for the gun to be removed completely without the police officer’s knowledge.

4. Before drawing the gun, the officer must first disengage a buckle positioned over the cocking hammer. The buckle prevents accidental firing while the gun is holstered, as the gun cannot load if the cocking hammer is not pulled back.

5. A strong and complete pull is needed to shoot successfully as a weak pull will merely cock the gun, but not fire the bullet.

6. Police officers can shoot when an assailant is armed, with the danger, ability and opportunity to seriously harm or kill. Verbal warnings need to be given before firing.

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Nicholas C

Co-Founder of KRISSTALK forums, an owner’s support group and all things KRISS Vector related. Nick found his passion through competitive shooting while living in NY. He participates in USPSA and 3Gun. He loves all things that shoots and flashlights. Really really bright flashlights.

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  • Martin Grønsdal

    Happy the officer survived. The felon probably will not 😉

  • Frank

    Taurus revolvers? You’d think a country as wealthy as Singapore would issue something a bit more in line with what others are using.

    • Sianmink

      Other Asian countries with extremely strict gun bans get along just fine with police revolvers. It’s in line with the region.

      • Bart

        Revolver makes some sense for Singapore, but a 5 shot Taurus?
        Make it a S&W K-frame or a Ruger. I’m not even a revolver snob. I’ve got 2 Rossi’s, a NEF .22, a Colt, a S&W, and a Heritage Rough Rider, but would prefer a Smith or Ruger for police work. Actually, I’d prefer a double stack polymer framed auto (Glock/M&P/XD) for police work.

        • Sianmink

          I don’t disagree. They probably want to 1: limit police firepower, so they aren’t targeted for their weapons. In a highly weapon-restrictive society, armed police become opportunities to gun-up. 2: limit commonality, you can’t use a 5-shot speedloader on a 6-shot revolver.
          Also Singapore doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on arming their police when it’s barely necessary in the first place, and Taurus probably cut them a sweetheart deal.

      • RICH

        It’s in line with the region when they don’t have to contend with citizens being able to purchase 15 or 17 rd semi auto pistols !

    • 624A24

      Well the govt is thrifty for sure – thats from my infantry experience (judging by how ancient our guns looked – the new M110s looked worlds apart from our old ass ultimaxs missing their finish!).
      The Taurus proved adequate, in the past few shootings. Just recently a suspect was killed by a single shot through a windscreen and years ago a murderer was killed by a single shot in a train station. Same story for some guy who continued being violent despite being tased some 10 years ago.
      The Criminal Investigation Department is known to carry USPs and the more special types Glocks. Years ago there were reports of an intention to purchase Sphinx pistols.

      • The Believer

        Yup…. and I’m going to speculate without evidence and say that the Singapore Police Force (possibly the last Anglosphere nation to call their police FORCE that instead of the limp-wristed ‘seeerrrvice’) probably have considerably better firearms skills that your average American beat cop.

    • Manny Fal

      If they do want to upgrade and be the coolest on the planet they should adopt the Chiappa Rhino revolver.

      • SP mclaughlin

        Then they’d be a proper dystopian manga/anime themed police force with 6’o clock shots.

    • bernardg

      Well, given the fact civilian possession of firearm in Singapore is exceedingly rare, if non existent. For regular patrol cop Five Shooter will do. But for what i know, the special unit/detectives are using semi-automatic.

  • Will

    Attended training for FX Cartride training, years and years ago, with two Singapore PD Firearms Instructors. They came to St. Louis, Mo. to get certified!!
    During scenarios where a gun was visible or found in a vehicle these officers shot everyone in the car!!! We, the class, were stunned until these officers explained their stance on gun possession in Singapore.

    • Cahal

      In the mid to late eighties Thailand had an explosion in vehicle theft. The police announced that occupants of stolen cars would be treated as armed. After a few weeks with multiple fatalities in stolen vehicles the rate of thefts dropped to previous levels.

      • sean

        so…junky car > human life

        • Sianmink

          Crime deterrence > individual liberty, as it is in most of the rest of the world.

          • All the Raindrops

            Ok chairman Mao

          • FarmerB

            I think he’s just pointing out the way it is.
            Group > Individual.

        • DIR911911 .

          you don’t think someone behind the wheel is controlling a weapon and endangering the public ?

        • FarmerB

          It’s not like that, it’s not about the value, it’s about the values. To their system, this criminal is a parasite, a madman, somebody with no scruples, a cross between Starlin and the Yorkshire ripper, a terrorist, somebody betraying the country’s values: a Quisling, disloyal to the king, spit on the flag, disrespect your ancestors, betray your family, cheater, corrupt, etc etc. To their thinking, if everybody was like this, the social order would be chaos. So, no great loss, and his demise is a handy example.

          It’s like if you invite your neighbour into your house and he spits on your floor. Tell me that’s not about the value of a tissue to wipe it up?

          • Grindstone50k

            Of course, assuming the person you shot sitting in a car is a criminal. I guess Due Process isn’t a value over there, either? (not that we’ve got a great track record of that)

        • Bal256

          If you’re willing to risk your life for a junky car, that’s your problem, not theirs.

      • All the Raindrops

        I wonder how many cars came up as stolen by mistake and their occupants perforated?

        Statism is scary.

    • DIR911911 .

      sort of a kill’em all , let the coroner sort them out

  • 624A24

    This guy fired 3 shots – he matched the number of shots the SPF had fired at people for the last decade. If I’m right that is.

    • Giolli Joker

      On the fourth the Taurus jammed.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    I wish there was some form of hand-to-hand self defense technique indigenous to the region that the officer could have employed to prevent this shooting.

    • RICH

      Why…. ? The Officer saved the tax-payers thousands and thousands of dollars ! !

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Screw the taxpayer, I’d rather not get shot.

        • Cymond

          well that’s simple, don’t attack any police officers, esp in Singapore

  • Rock or Something

    A kind of side note, but I had a buddy who grew in Singapore who got arrested and was almost sentenced to canings. His offense was walking off a construction site with a work knife by accident. I forgot how he escaped that punishment, but he said they make sure to show you videos and tell you exactly how the caning will occur before they administer it.

  • FarmerB

    Culturally, it’s completely different. The weapon is not selected to be the best tool for the job, it’s more like a badge. To an Asian police force (such as Singapore) arguing about the best gun to carry is about as silly as arguing whether a gold badge is better than a silver one. It’s a symbol of authority. As a criminal you’re expected to submit. If you don’t, a few dead coppers a better for society than 10,000 armed police. Don’t try to understand it, it’s different in ways we can barely understand (flying there in 2 days).

  • RICH

    The penalty fits the crime…. I hope it’s enforced….. ! ! ! Thank God the Police Officer is ok !

    • petru sova

      Singapore is a brutal right wing repressive society that is still not part of the 21st century. The people in power have no regard for human life even their own officers and woe betide anyone who even spits on the sidewalk as there are Nazi type laws against even this. It is a right wingers paradise of fear, repression and terror and complete lack of human rights except of course for the people in power. If this society ever experiences a revolt or a rise in crime the revolvers will be discovered to be no match for modern high capacity semi-auto pistols.

  • Azril @ Alex Vostox

    In Malaysia Aviation Security Unit, We’re taught to leave the first chamber of our issued S&W M10 or S&W 36 revolver (Now largely been replaced by Glock or CZ SP-01) empty to prevent accidental or somebody snatched that revolver.