U.S. consular employee arrested after 'shooting dead two motorcyclists in high-speed chase'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 1:33 PM on 28th January 2011
A U.S consular employee in Pakistan is facing murder charges following a high-speed chase in which two gun-toting motorcyclists who may have been intent on robbing him were shot dead.
Raymond David told police he shot the two men in self-defence as they pursued his car.
A third Pakistani man was also killed, allegedly after being hit by a U.S. vehicle rushing to the aid of the American on the bustling Lahore street.
Pakistani police escort Raymond David to a court in Lahore following his arrest. Mr David told police he shot two men in self-defence as they pursued his car
Police officer Umar Saeed said today that David had told officers he had withdrawn money from an ATM shortly before the incident, raising the possibility the two men were following him.
Others Pakistani officers have said the men were likely to be robbers and both were carrying pistols.
The issue of American diplomats or their security detail carrying weapons inside Pakistan was a hot-button subject last year among certain politicians and sections of the media purportedly worried about the country's sovereignty.
Pakistani security officials inspect the car of the US consular employee, who is accused of shooting dead two motorcyclists during a high-speed chase
People look at blood stains on the busy Lahore road where the men were shot. Pakistani officers have said the men were likely to be robbers and both were carrying pistols
Many Pakistanis regard the United States with suspicion or outright enmity because of its occupation of neighbouring Afghanistan and regular missile attacks against militant targets in Pakistan's northwest.
'"American Rambo" goes berserk in Lahore' read the headline in The Nation, a right-wing newspaper that often publishes anti-U.S. conspiracy theories.
Western diplomats travel with armed guards in many parts of Pakistan because of the risk of militant attack, although David may not have been one of the foreign security personnel allowed to carry firearms, according to the Pakistani authorities.
Lahore has seen frequent terrorist bombings and shootings over the last two years, though the city's small expatriate population has not been directly targeted.
Punjab province Law Minister Rana Sanaullah said the American was formally placed under arrest after a complaint from a brother of one of the victims.
Pakistani people look at the motorbike of a man who was killed in the shooting yesterday
The case is being investigated as a potential murder, and the American may face that charge, Sanaullah said.
Lahore police chief Aslam Tareen said the American may also face a charge involving illegally carrying a weapon, a Beretta pistol.
'Diplomatic staff usually enjoy a certain type of immunity, but I am not sure about murder,' Tareen said.
'We will consult the Foreign Office and legal advisers in this regard.'
In a two-sentence statement today, the U.S. embassy confirmed that a consulate staffer 'was involved in an incident yesterday that regrettably resulted in the loss of life.'
The U.S. was working with Pakistanis to 'determine the facts and work toward a resolution,' it said.
People protest outside a police station in Lahore following the killing of the motorcyclists
Robbers on motorbikes pulling up alongside cars and holding them up is a common crime in Pakistani cities.
A newspaper editorial in The Express Tribune said it was reasonable for Western diplomats to travel armed, but noted that in America shooting in self-defence can result in a conviction, especially if it can be proved that the accused used excessive force.
Americans and other foreigners have also been frequently targeted by Islamist militants in Pakistan.
In the northwestern city of Peshawar in 2008, gunmen shot and killed a U.S. aid worker as he drove to work.
Suspected militants also opened fire on the vehicle of the top American diplomat in the city the same year, but she survived the attack.
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Have our conspiracy theorist friends got any wacko comments about this story that they would like to regale us with? Usually anything remotely connected to the USA on the one hand and Muslim states on the other usually brings them out in droves.
- Zak, London, 28/1/2011 13:06
Hes a consular official - he gets diplomatic immunity.
- Fergus Mac Brunstrom, Pantigirdl, Wales, 28/1/2011 13:05
Im not the biggest fan of Americans, however in this case this was a US diplomat faced with two gun carring thugs. Thier intention was unknown with robbery, kidnap or even murder on thier minds. It was his right to defend himself and he did so, and before anyone starts on about shooting in the leg or shooting to wound, this is not hollywood or fantasy, you always shoot into the body as the biggest area, adreniline is rushing through you along with fear, shoot to wound and you will miss and they will shoot back and wounding will be the last thing on thier mind.
- christopher, london, 28/1/2011 11:46
Yeah right, there's a man who will get a "fair" trial in that country. I can just see the Kangaroo court that would ensue. Good on him that he took care of the robbers, shame that he did not make it to his Embassy safely to begin with. And it's a shame that the pedestrian was also killed by the other car. I don't have much faith in the thought of fair justice for a Westerner from that lot.
- Ted, Halifax, Nova Scotia, 28/1/2011 11:37
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Friday, 28 January 2011
U.S. consular employee arrested after 'shooting dead two motorcyclists in high-speed chase' | Mail Online