THE expatriate manager of a Rabaul business had to be airlifted to Cairns for medical treatment after he was shot while driving along the Kokopo-Rabaul road last Friday.
Manager of Lings Freezer, Jackie Wong, was rushed to the St Mary’s Vunapope Hospital that same afternoon where anxious members of the Chinese community gathered to check on his condition.
According to reports from the hospital, Mr Wong was airlifted to Cairns last Saturday because he was in a critical condition.
An eyewitness, who was with Mr Wong and witnessed the incident, said the shooting occurred at 5.15pm last Friday when Mr Wong was travelling back to Kokopo with two others.
The eyewitness said he was sitting in the rear of the vehicle with his workmate while Mr Wong was driving.
At the Tavana/Vulcan road area, Mr Wong suddenly stopped when he approached a roadblock with a masked gunman standing directly in front of him.
There were no other cars passing by at the time, and the gunman shot the windscreen of the vehicle with the gun pellets hitting Mr Wong in his right chest.
The eyewitness said when he and his counterpart heard the shot, they thought that a tyre of the vehicle had burst before they looked to the front and saw the crack in the windscreen.
He said after Mr Wong was shot, he sped away until the eyewitness told him to slow down, took over the driving and drove straight to the Vunapope hospital.
The eyewitness said there might have been four to five suspects involved but he could not see them clearly due to the dusty conditions of the road.
He said he only remembered the gunman but also heard voices in the nearby bushes.
Meanwhile, provincial police commander, Supt Anton Billie, said he had not received a full report on the shooting from his officers at the Rabaul police station.
The Rabaul police station commander and the officer in charge of the criminal investigation division were not available yesterday to clarify on the reported case.
Supt Billie said according to sketchy information he had gathered, the suspects allegedly set up the roadblock with big rocks and logs.
He said the number of suspects was unknown at this stage.