Man jailed and fined for firing homemade airgun at HDB flats
Sheet-metal worker fired ball bearings at nearby blocks, cracking windows
In about 10 months, a 64-year-old sheet-metal worker manufactured three airguns, later using Housing Board blocks near his home as target practice.
Singaporean Lee Keng Hee was intrigued after he came across a Nerf gun in a shopping mall in 2017 and was determined to make one more powerful than the one he saw.
Yesterday, Lee was jailed for 18 weeks and fined $2,000 after he pleaded guilty to manufacturing an airgun without a licence and committing rash acts.
After he saw the toy gun, he decided to make an airgun from scratch and use metal to manufacture one that could fire steel ball bearings.
He used scrap metal from his company's workshop and performed cutting and welding works there.
He began studying tutorials on YouTube and started making his first gun in late 2017.
After learning that he could use a bicycle air pump valve for the airgun, he went about constructing a second airgun using this design idea and completed both guns some time in mid-2018.
He also bought 200 steel ball bearings as bullets, purchasing more when supply ran out.
He initially used a cardboard box at home as target practice but progressed to firing at trees 10 to 15 metres from his home as he was curious about the firing range of his second airgun, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Regina Lim.
His third airgun was completed in October 2018.
Again, he used the trees as target practice and then graduated to shooting at other nearby HDB blocks from his kitchen window to test the firing range of his third airgun.
He continued firing at one target block until April 2019, shooting about 10 balls on each occasion, and in total, he fired at least 200 6mm ball bearings using the three airguns.
In April 2019, a resident at one of the nearby blocks called the police after he heard a sound from his bedroom window and noticed a crack.
Lee was arrested a day later after extensive door-to-door inquires.
Following a news release about his arrest, seven other residents lodged police reports stating that their windows had similarly been damaged.
DPP Lim said the airgun Lee had manufactured is inherently dangerous, stating that the third airgun was capable of cracking glass more than 77m away.
In mitigation, Lee's lawyer, Favian Kang of Peter Low & Choo said Lee had made full restitution to the victims by selling away family jewellery that was given by his late mother.