Fri, Jul 23, 2004 - Page 1 News List

Footage of shooting suspect released

FURTIVE GLANCES Investigators say they interviewed everybody on the video, except a man in a grey shirt who was standing in the area from which the shots were fired

By Jimmy chuang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The man circled in red in this video grab from March 19 is wanted for questioning regarding the shooting of President Chen Shui-bian and Vice-President Annette Lu. He is standing in the area from which the shots were most likely fired.

PHOTO: CNA

Investigators yesterday made public video footage of a suspect in the investigation into the election-eve assassination attempt on the president and vice president. They urged the person in the video to contact them as soon as possible.

"He was standing in the `hot area' when the shooting took place and eight witnesses have testified against him. I think it is necessary to have a talk," said Wang Wen-chung (王文忠), deputy commissioner of the National Police Administration's Criminal Investigation Bureau.

The "hot area" is a triangular section in front of No. 16 to No. 18 of Jinhua Road, Sec. 3, in Tainan City. According to forensic scientist Henry Lee's (李昌鈺) findings, this is where the gunman opened fire on President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu (呂秀蓮) on March 19.

Wang released the footage at a press conference at the headquarters of the Tainan City Police Department yesterday morning, which was the 126th day after the assassination attempt.

The man in the video is in his 30s or 40s and wore a grey shirt. The video shows him looking around furtively. He also between 165cm and 170cm tall, which fits investigators' calculations.

"Our forensic analysis, research and experiments showed that there is a 90 percent chance that we are looking for only one gunman who fired two shots, because less than one second elapsed between the two shots," Wang said.

However, Wang said that Lee has been unable to determine how many gunmen were involved. The forensic scientist's detailed analysis will not be available before next month.

Until now, Lee has only confirmed that the two bullets that injured the president and the vice president were both homemade, that they had been fired from a homemade pistol and that the gunman was standing in the "hot area."

Lee said more than once that he was merely helping local police to analyze the evidence, rather than helping them to find suspects. He has also said that his research sheds no light on how many gunmen were involved.

Tainan Prosecutor Wang San-jung (王森榮) said that investigators have interviewed everybody in the video, except the person in the grey shirt never showed up. In addition, investigators said his explanation and testimony are needed, because eight witnesses have testified against him.

"I hope he reports to us as soon as possible," Wang San-jung said.

Wang Wen-chung said that, between March 19 and July 22, law enforcement officers received a total of 249 tips from the public about the assassination attempt. However, 228 of these tips turned out to be irrelevant and were dropped from the investigation.

"At this moment, we still welcome any useful information from anybody who might have witnessed some unusual but crucial activity at the scene on March 19," Wang Wen-chung said.

People with information can phone the number 0800-000-100.

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