The incident began Tuesday morning and continued until Wednesday afternoon
An 85-year-old retired Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) personnel shocked his family and neighbours after he took out his licensed revolver and shot aimlessly from his residence in Dhaka’s Rampura.
SM Abdur Rahman, who was a corporal (non-commissioned officer) at BAF, began the shooting spree from his room following a disagreement with his tenant Narayan Chandra Das.
The incident began Tuesday morning and continued until Wednesday afternoon.
Narayan, 47, operated a salon and a laundry on the ground floor of the same building owned by Abdur.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (media) Md Yusuf Ali said a team of Rampura police rushed to the scene after being informed by locals.
ADC Yusuf said locals gathered near Abdur’s house around 11:30am on Tuesday after hearing four to five gunshots. “They initially tried to calm the situation but when a bullet grazed Narayan’s back, the locals informed the police,” he said.
However, the bullet wound did not cause any severe injuries, the ADC confirmed.
According to Yusuf, police, neighbours and Abdur’s family members repeatedly asked Abdur to come out of the room throughout the day but nothing worked, instead, he continued to fire and this time a bullet grazed his wife’s neck.
When Rampura police alone could not control the situation, DMP’s Motijheel zone high officials reached the scene but they too failed to convince Abdur to come out of the room.
Yusuf said when Abdur was getting out of control, the police moved away from the building’s gate and observed the retired BAF officer’s behaviour from a distance.
Later on Wednesday, around 12:30pm, Abdur started shouting and chopping at his room’s door with a machete. At one point, he became exhausted, dropped the machete and sat on a chair, he added.
Police broke into his room as soon as they sensed that Abdur had settled down and nabbed him, confiscating all firearms and lethal weapons from the room.
Abdur’s family members said Abdur, who owned the four-storey building, lived on the second floor with his wife; one year ago he moved out and started living alone in the ground floor room.
Abdur’s wife told the police that she had been noticing Abdur’s change in behaviour for a few days and that he could no longer tolerate her or their children’s presence around him.
“The last few days it seemed to me that Abdur was losing his mental stability; he even forced me to write all my property in his name,” she said.
The couple has five children, including three daughters and two sons, all of the children live abroad except his son Shahin who is an electronics trader, Abdur’s relatives said.
Narayan told police that he rented a room on the ground floor of Abdur’s building, which is located just beside the room where Abdur currently lives.
He said: “Abdur used to take Tk1,000 from me every day to order food. Despite being a diabetic patient, he does not maintain a healthy diet.”
Describing the disagreement between him and Abdur, Narayan said Abdur had asked for Tk1,000 in the morning, but he said he would give the money after he opens his shop.
Abdur became upset as he did not get the money immediately and opened fire after locking himself inside the room, Narayan added.
The police said they recovered 33 bullet shells from the room.
The retired defence official is currently admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment. Besides, both the injured were also being treated at DMCH.
Police said the doctors at DMCH did not give any statement regarding Abdur’s mental health yet.