Singapore police NSF who died from gunshot wound had lost over $10,000 in job scam
Supervisors had considered banning him from using firearms, after earlier tantrum in restroom
SINGAPORE — A full-time police national serviceman was found dead with a gunshot wound to his head in August 2021 after he had lost over $10,000 in an e-commerce job scam.
The Straits Times reported on the first day of a coroner's inquiry on the death of Finnegan Tan Yao Jie on Wednesday (1 February) that he had filed a police report before he was found dead with a gunshot wound on 30 August 2021.
The inquiry heard that the 21-year-old was so upset after losing so much money from the job scam - money which included $7,000 borrowed from his father - that his supervisors at the Special Operations Command (SOC) had considered banning him from using firearms.
However, they had found that his case did not fit into the category of "financial embarrassment", which means owning money and being unable to pay back.
Shouting in restroom that he almost killed himself
An investigating police officer said in court that there was a separate incident in mid-2021 when Tan's colleague heard him shouting in a restroom at the SOC base in Queensway that he had almost killed himself the day before.
CNA reported that one of Tan's supervisors, who has experience in providing psychological support, had intervened and spoken to him then. However, Tan had simply dismissed the matter as just an outburst.
Despite finding that Tan didn't display suicidal thoughts or appear depressed, the supervisor was still considering barring him from using firearms
At the time of his death, Tan was supposed to attend a course for a few weeks, during which he would not be armed.
In his report to State Coroner Adam Nakhoda, the investigating officer said Tan had reported for duty about 10.30am on the day of the incident. He was given a revolver and live rounds when he arrived at the SOC base.
When his colleagues heard a gun go off, they assumed it was a misfire. After a search, officers discovered Tan with a gunshot wound to the head in a toilet, and he was declared dead at around 11.20am by paramedics who arrived at the scene.
Posted suicidal thoughts on social media accounts
Tan's suicidal thoughts came to light after investigators reviewed his social media accounts and found that he had posted privately on Instagram that he wanted to die.
Further investigations found that Tan had intended to commit suicide for some time. This was due several reasons, including that he had been cheated of money belonging to his father, according to CNA.
The investigating officer told the court that Tan was upset about himself having made this mistake, and although he suggested to his father that he consult a psychiatrist, it was brushed off by his father.
The officer also said that Tan had asked his sister "out of the blue" on what she would do if he were gone. However, she did not pursue the matter further. Tan had also expressed suicidal thoughts to his cousin, but he was not taken seriously.
Months before his death, he even searched online for information about suicide, shooting with gloves and writing a will.
The state coroner will release his findings at a later date.
If you have thoughts of suicide or are feeling distressed, you can call the Samaritans of Singapore's 24-hour hotline at 1767 or 1800-2214444. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.
You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter. Also check out our Southeast Asia, Food, and Gaming channels on YouTube.