UAE: Shopkeepers recount how man went on stabbing spree, set store on fire

Residents noted that the fire was of such magnitude that it took several hours to extinguish


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied

Published: Tue 7 May 2024, 6:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 May 2024, 3:37 PM

Cafeteria assistant Mohammed was making a regular purchase at a department store in Ajman's industrial area on Monday when he saw a heated argument break out between two sales representatives. The disagreement escalated quickly, drawing the attention of others who attempted to intervene and defuse the situation.

“Given our occasional urgent needs, we often procure essentials from nearby stores. While I was at the checkout counter, I overheard a heated exchange and witnessed several individuals trying to intervene,” said Mohammed.

Twenty minutes later, Mohammed observed two employees rushing towards a nearby medical supply store, both bleeding. “I saw a couple of employees, their clothing stained with blood, one with a slit on his hand and the other with a head wound,” said Mohammed.

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On Monday, a suspect accused of murder and arson was arrested by the Ajman Police within 10 minutes after a massive fire burned down a store in the emirate's industrial area. According to the police, an Asian woman was fatally stabbed by him, and three others, all identified as Asians, were seriously injured.

People hastily leave premises

According to residents in the vicinity, both the suspect and the victims were employees of the store. “The argument sparked chaos within the store. We witnessed people hastily leaving the premises, and later learned about the tragic incident,” said an employee working at neighbouring tailoring shop.

Residents noted that access to the area was restricted, and police swiftly arrived at the scene. “Initially, we were unsure of what had occurred and why the police were cordoning off the area,” mentioned a man employed at a nearby tailoring shop.

“The presence of the police coincided with the emergence of flames from the store,” added the tailor.

According to an employee of the store, who preferred to remain anonymous, “Upon noticing the fire, we evacuated the premises, and shortly after, the police entered the building and apprehended the suspect,”

“Once everyone had evacuated the burning store, the police swiftly apprehended the suspect and the woman's body was removed to prevent the fire from spreading further,” said the employee.

Fire spread swiftly

According to the employee, fire trucks rushed to the scene, but by then, the fire had already engulfed the store. “The products inside ignited rapidly, leading to the complete engulfment of the entire store,” the employee reported.

Residents noted that the fire was of such magnitude that it took several hours to extinguish. “The fire tenders remained on site until 7pm, tirelessly working to put out the flames,” Mohammed said.

The police barricaded the area and deployed patrol cars, ensuring public safety, and crime scene caution tape marked the perimeter.


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