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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 September, 2003, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Toddler shooting suspect held
Daimi Akyuz
Daimi Akyuz is in police custody
A man has been arrested for the fatal shooting of British toddler Alistair Grimason in Turkey.

Police in the city of Izmir confirmed that they arrested "prime suspect" Daimi Akyuz on Monday night.

The 32-year-old is reported to have confessed to camera, saying he regrets the death of Alistair and will mourn for him all of his life.

Two-year-old Alistair, from East Kilbride, in Scotland, died after a gunfight broke out at a cafe in the Turkish resort of Foca on 7 July.

Only son

The toddler had been with his Turkish-born mother Ozlem and his grandmother as they enjoyed a meal during a family holiday.

Alistair was asleep in his pram when a stray bullet pierced his heart, killing him instantly.

Police arrested a man in connection with the incident but said they had launched a hunt for Mr Akyuz.

Alistair's father, David Grimason, said he was pleased Mr Akyuz had been arrested but that nothing would ease the pain of losing his only child.

Mr Grimason said international coverage of a petition he started to campaign for the tightening of Turkish gun laws had helped put pressure on the authorities to find Mr Akyuz.

Alistair Grimason
Alistair Grimason was hit by a stray bullet

He said: "After the petition started the police went on television in Turkey and said they would put more people on the case.

"Just over a week ago they said they would catch him within a week and now they've caught him so it looks as if the petition may have helped."

Mr Grimason said he would like to travel to Turkey to witness the legal proceedings once Mr Akyuz has been charged in connection with Alistair's death.

He had already planned to travel to Turkey at the end of this month to hand over the petition which now has nearly 30,000 signatures.

Every minute

Another man, Ali Bektas, was also killed in the shoot-out which led to Alistair's death while two other men were injured.

Mr Akyuz will also face charges in relation to these three men, according to the Turkish Embassy spokesman.

Mr Grimason said news of Mr Akyuz's arrest had left him rather shaken adding that all he and his wife could think about was their son.

"It's always on your mind every minute of the day, you think about the things he's missing out on.

"He made us proud and kept us going and we don't have that anymore."

On Tuesday morning, a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in London said: "The prime suspect Daimi Akyuz has been arrested and he will be charged with murder.

"He will be taken to court and the prosecutor will investigate the incident."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Alexandra Mackenzie reports
"The toddler was shot while he slept"


The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"Despite their grief, Alastair's parents have started a campaign for better gun control in Turkey"



SEE ALSO:
Gun petition gets 10,000 names
24 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Father seeks tighter gun laws
21 Aug 03  |  Scotland
Police hunt toddler death suspect
10 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Grief of shot toddler's father
09 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Parents grieve for shot son
09 Jul 03  |  Scotland
Toddler shot dead in Turkey
08 Jul 03  |  Scotland



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