KOTA KINABALU: Sabah police believe revenge is the motive behind the killing of a family of six undocumented persons from Semporna while they were travelling in a boat in southern Philippines last Nov 5.
Sabah police commissioner Omar Mammah said the killings transpired from bad blood involving one of the adult male victims, who allegedly killed the gunman’s son.
He said the gunman decided to kill him and his whole family, including two women and an eight-year-old boy, as an act of revenge.
“This is a cycle of violence. We have identified the suspect and passed on the information to our counterpart in the Philippines for further action,” he told reporters after launching the community policing event involving the inhabitants of Pulau Gaya here today.
He also clarified that there were six survivors, four of them children, in the incident, not two as earlier reported by the media.
Omar said these six were in a different boat when the incident happened in waters near the southern Philippines.
The family was believed to be heading to Siasi in the Philippines to celebrate Maulidur Rasul with their families.
The family members were island inhabitants of Pulau Denawan, near Semporna, in Sabah’s east coast.
Omar said police had obtained a court order on Nov 11 to exhume the bodies and a doctor from Kota Kinabalu was called in to do the post-mortem.
“We found gunshot wounds on the bodies. One of the victims was shot four times,” he said.