LAHORE – An American national associated with the US Consulate in Lahore shot two young motorcyclists while another vehicle used by the US Consulate ran over a man in a bid to rescue the diplomat near Qartaba Chowk on Thursday.
The Old Anarkali Police managed to arrest the American, identified as Raymond Davis, after a brief chase following information that the US officials were involved in a shooting and rescue incident. Davis told police that he opened fire at the two motorcyclists – later identified as Faizan Haider and Faheem Shamshad – because he thought that they were going to rob him. He said the men had pointed a handgun in his direction and he believed they were going to shoot him.
Davis, who is said to be a technical adviser in the American Consulate, opened fire at the two men from inside his car, killing Faheem instantly while Faizan died of his injuries at Services Hospital. Witnesses Khalid and Naeem told Pakistan Today that after shooting the two motorcyclists, the American came out of his car and took their pictures from his mobile phone, adding that afterwards he called somebody on his wireless set and “spoke to the person in Urdu”.
Khalid and Naeem said that as they were trying to stop Davis from fleeing, a black Land Cruiser appeared on the scene. “The driver of the Cruiser steered his vehicle onto the wrong side of the road, running over a young motorcyclist, two women and three passers-by,” they said. The motorcyclist, identified as Ubaidur Rehman, died in hospital later.
They said that when the Land Cruiser reached the spot, Davis spoke to the occupants and later got into his Honda Civic car and fled the scene.Lahore Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Aslam Tareen said that Davis had claimed that he shot at the two motorcyclists while resisting a robbery. The CCPO said that although the police had found foreign currency and two unlicensed pistols from the possession of the two deceased motorcyclists, but “they were not robbers”.
He said Davis used a 9mm pistol and failed to produce permission to carry the weapon, adding that two cases had been registered against Davis under Section 302 and investigations were underway. Haider’s cousin Riaz told Pakistan Today that his cousin was innocent, adding that according to his information, Haider and his friend chased and later stopped Davis’ vehicle because he had knocked down and injured a passer-by.
He said Haider was carrying an unlicenced weapon because “the family had enemies.” Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has taken notice of the incident and ordered the CCPO to investigate the matter personally. After Davis’ arrest, reports kept making the rounds in the provincial capital that the police had released Davis. However, CCPO Tareen confirmed to Pakistan Today that Davis had not been freed and two murder cases had been registered in the Lytton Road Police Station against him.
He said that Davis would be produced in court today. Late on Thursday night, Faizan and Ubaidur Rehman’s families protested against the US officials in front of the police station. The protesters blocked Lytton Road, burnt tyres and shouted anti-American slogans.