The suspect arrested on Tuesday afternoon in connection to the Sliema double murder was armed, Police Commissioner Angelo Gafa said during a crime conference.
Chris Pandolfino and Ivor Maciejowski were killed inside their home on Tuesday after three persons entered their home and opened fire at around 10.30pm. The three persons spent no more than four minutes inside the Sliema house, before leaving in a car. A man who the police believe to be the mastermind and the main suspect was arrested in connection to the murder at 1.15pm on Tuesday in Floriana, Gafa said.
While the Commissioner refused to identify the person arrested, the man was earlier in the day reportedly identified as Daniel Muka, an Albanian man living in Malta.
The Commissioner highlighted that this was the sixth homicide case this year, stressing that the first five were solved.
Describing the Sliema double murder itself, Gafa said that six 9mm pistol shots were fired on site. Ivor Maciejowski was shot once in the head, while Chris Pandolfino was shot four times – twice in his chest, once in his neck and once in his head. One shot missed, Gafa said.
The Commissioner stressed that the police are treating the crime as being tied to a robbery, saying that the two victims potentially had a substantial amount of gold on their person which was stolen.
Gafa said that allegedly, a white Volkswagen Tiguan with stolen licence plates was used in the murder. The vehicle, he said, was reported stolen two years prior from Gzira. He said that the car was found in Guardamangia with different plates than were used on the night of the crime, but inside the police found objects tying the vehicle to the crime scene, including clothes, stolen property from the site and the stolen plates. In addition an AK-47 replica and a Thompson gun replica were also found. He later said that electronic devices were also found.
Gafa said that when the police found the vehicle last Friday, the prime suspect stopped reporting to the Police Depot to sign the bail book as he had a court obligation to do.
Turning to Tuesday’s arrest, he said that the police had been following the man for a few days, and that they had acquired an arrest warrant from the courts.
Inside the Floriana house where the man was arrested, two other people were found, but said that the police believe they had nothing to do with the murder. One however, is being held for allegedly hiding the suspect.
During the arrest, the police took all precautions and wore bullet proof vests and carried guns, the Commissioner said. “The suspect, when arrested, had a gun. The gun is going to be analysed in connection with the gun casings on site.”
Four flashbangs were used during the arrest, he said, which are designed to disorient the person.
The suspect is being held at the Police lockup.
Gafa was asked whether, given that the suspects were only on the scene of the crime for three minutes and only potentially stole some gold, whether they are still following the theory that the crime relates to robbery. Gafa said that till today the police believe it was related to the theft. The two people were carrying a substantial amount of gold on their person and that it the police theory up until now, he said.
Asked if the police found the stolen gold, he said that at this stage no gold was found, but other objects were found and the police now need to establish what connection they have with the murder crime scene.