KARACHI: A teenager was killed while another young man was injured in an incident of road rage on Sunday. The boy lost his life when armed men travelling in a pickup truck opened fire on his car in Defence Housing Authority (DHA).
Officials and witnesses said the incident took place when the victims, who were driving a Mercedes, tried to flee after hitting a motorcyclist near Do Darya. They were chased by a group in a Toyota Vigo who were escorting the motorcyclist. The situation turned bloody when the group opened fire on the Mercedes when the driver tried to speed up instead of stopping. The motorcyclist, who was believed by his companions to be dead, only suffered minor injuries.
“We go to DHA almost every Sunday morning to race motorcycles. Besides motorcycles, we have SUVs and cars as well. But this Sunday was not in our favour,” said Khawar Burney, the prime suspect in the case who fired at the Mercedes. He is currently in police custody.
“The car hit a motorcyclist while speeding. We thought our rider died,” he told the police, adding that he and his friends, along with his underage brother, were just trying to intercept the men in the Mercedes. They tried to get them to stop their car but the Mercedes continued on.
“I don’t know what exactly happened to me. I just pulled out my 9mm pistol and opened fire at the car,” he admitted. According to the police, the men in the Mercedes were beaten up after being fired at.
“It was just a minor accident but these people [in the Vigo] reacted abnormally. He [Burney] fired at least 12 to 16 times,” explained District South SSP Javed Akbar Riaz.
The group of four to five armed men managed to flee the scene. The injured persons were immediately shifted to a nearby private hospital – South City Hospital – where doctors pronounced 18-year-old Zafir Fahim dead and admitted 20-year-old Zaid to the intensive care unit (ICU).
According to doctors, Zaid sustained a bullet injury on his hand and his condition was out of danger. The deceased’s body was later shifted to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre where doctors were still conducting the postmortem till the filing of this story. However, while quoting the initial post-mortem report, Additional Police Surgeon Dr Sheraz said that the deceased was shot twice – once in his arm and another in his chest. Both bullets were fired at close range and the cause of death is believed to be the chest injury.
Zafir was a first-year student at a college in DHA and was also a resident of the area. SSP Riaz said that deceased’s father, Fahim Zubairi, is a banker by profession.
Two other friends were in the Mercedes at the time of the incident but were unhurt. “It was intense firing. We had no idea something like this could happen to us,” said one of the passengers, Arham. “We saved ourselves by ducking and hiding in the car.”
The officer said that the victims were on their way to have breakfast on Sunday morning at around 9am when their car hit the motorcycle.
Reacting to the information, the police took action and obtained closed-circuit television footage from the crime scene. The police finally managed to trace the vehicles with the help of the footage and arrested four suspects, including Burney, during a raid on Allama Iqbal Road. “We have also recovered the 9mm pistol used in the incident. He [Burney] had tried to hide the weapon after the incident,” explained SSP Riaz. “Though the prime accused has also admitted to the crime, we are looking into the involvement of the other four detainees.”
No case was registered till the filing of this report.
The higher authorities, including the chief minister, home minister and police chief, took notice of the incident and asked the police officials concerned to arrest the culprits.
Home Minister Sohail Anwar Siyal ordered Additional IG Karachi Mushtaq Mahar to submit an inquiry report to him while also ordering the immediate arrest of the culprits involved in the incident.