Mon, 17 Apr 2000

Police officer shoots Marine to death

JAKARTA (JP): A North Jakarta Police officer surrendered to his superiors on Sunday, saying he shot to death a Marine officer at a nightspot on Jl. Pemuda in Rawamangun, East Jakarta, an officer said.

Lt. Col. Mustofa, the head of the Jakarta Police Internal Affairs division, identified the suspect as First Sgt. Ruban and the victim as Chief Sgt. Beni Silaban, 45.

According to a preliminary investigation, the officer said the incident took place in the early hours of Sunday at the Palm Garden Pub.

When the pub was about to close, the guests, including the two officers, rushed the exit and were about to leave when the pair suddenly became engaged in a heated quarrel, Mustofa told The Jakarta Post.

"The shooting occurred at 4.15 a.m.," he said, adding that the victim was believed to have been drunk when the incident took place.

After allegedly shooting the Marine officer, the police officer turned himself in.

"The North Jakarta Police later handed him over to us on the same day for a thorough investigation," Mustofa said.

The questioning of the suspect has yet to be completed, he said.

When asked to comment on the case, Ruban's superior, North Jakarta Police chief Col. Wisjnu Amat Sastro refused to comment on the incident.

"This is the first time I've heard about the case. I don't know anything about it," he told the Post before abruptly hanging up.

A Pulogadung Police officer separately said on Sunday that the victim was apparently irritated after he was pushed into another guest as the crowd jostled to leave through the pub's main door.

"The Marine officer hit Ruban repeatedly with his hands. As he was cornered, Ruban then pulled out his gun and shot Beni, the Marine officer," he told the Post in his tiny office, located some 300 meters from the pub.

The shot surprised nearby residents, but no one wished to speak to reporters.

"I slept soundly. But I heard from other people that there was a fight and gunshot was heard from the pub," said a female vendor, whose kiosk stands only a few meters from the pub.

The officer, who refused to be named, added that the victim was first admitted to nearby Persahabatan Hospital.

"But since he suffered a severe gunshot wound, we transferred him to the Sukanto Police Hospital in Kramat Jati," he said.

He died shortly after he reached the hospital, he said. (09/ylt/asa)