Suspect wanted over Mahabage shooting killed in clash with STF

Special Task Force - STF - Sri Lanka

A former army soldier, wanted for his involvement in a recent shooting in Mahabage and other crimes, was shot and killed by Special Task Force (STF) personnel during a shootout in Sooriyawewa, according to police.

The police conducted a raid early this morning based on intelligence suggesting that a murder suspect was hiding in the area.

When STF officers attempted to arrest him, the suspect fired at them with a firearm.

In the exchange of gunfire, the suspect was injured and later died from his injuries while being admitted to Suriyawewa Hospital.

One STF officer was injured during the incident.

The deceased individual is believed to be the motorcycle rider involved in the shooting near a meat shop in Elapitiwala Junction, Mahabage, on February 21, which resulted in the death of the shop owner.

Three unidentified attackers had opened fire using a revolver at around 7:15 AM on February 21, resulting in the victim’s death while being rushed to Colombo North Teaching Hospital in Ragama.

The deceased, identified as Hettiarachchige Don Sujith alias “Ukkuwa,” was the brother-in-law of the criminal gang leader “Welle Saranga” and resided in North Batagama, Ja-Ela.

Two suspects, including an army officer, have been arrested in connection with the murder so far, with suspicion falling on a rival gang led by “Dubai Nipuna” for orchestrating the crime.

It was also reported that Sujith had been receiving death threats from “Dubai Nipuna’s” gang.

The prime suspect, a former Corporal serving in the 4th Battalion of the Gemunu Watch Regiment at the Army camp in Chenkalady, Batticaloa, was apprehended on February 24 after evading authorities.

Another suspect was arrested in Narawelpita South, Hakmana, on the same day for aiding and abetting in the killing.

This suspect had deserted the Army during basic training in 2009 and was later officially discharged.