by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Aug 15, 2012
Chinese police on Tuesday killed a fugitive armed robber and suspected serial killer dubbed China's most dangerous man, ending a huge manhunt, state media said.
Zhou Kehua, who is suspected of killing nine people, spent eight years on the run before being shot dead in an alleyway in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing early on Tuesday, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
The 42-year-old's death ends a huge search that began when he reportedly shot and killed a woman outside a bank in Chongqing on Friday morning, wounding another two people, before killing a police officer later that day.
State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of Zhou's bloodied corpse and said he had been killed in a shoot-out with police on the mountainous outskirts of Chongqing.
Police officials in the city said Zhou had been spotted by two plainclothes officers on the streets of Tongjiaqiao village at 6:45 am, Xinhua reported.
After realising he was being followed, Zhou fired three shots at the officers before police shot him four times.
Wang Xiaoyu, one of the policemen who opened fire, said: "He was less than three metres ahead of us," adding that Zhou's first bullet had missed him by a centimetre, Xinhua reported.
"I could even feel his round casing bounce onto my leg," he was quoted as saying.
"The weapon he was using was an imitation Type 54 pistol, so it was less powerful than ours," the officer added.
Police later found a second pistol, three magazines and more than 10,000 yuan ($1,600) in cash in Zhou's knapsack at the scene.
Police in Chongqing had launched a massive manhunt after receiving reports that Zhou was hiding out in nearby mountain caves, the Global Times reported.
Images of Zhou -- described by authorities as "ruthless and highly dangerous" -- were plastered across the city on wanted posters, the Global Times daily reported.
Police in the city and two neighbouring provinces were reportedly ordered to cancel all leave to take part in the hunt for Zhou, and authorities offered a 500,000 yuan ($79,000) reward for information leading to his capture.
Following the shootout an unnamed resident was offered 600,000 yuan -- 500,000 from the local police authority and 100,000 from the Ministry of Public Security -- for tipping off police on Zhou's whereabouts, Xinhua reported.
Zhou, who was born in rural Chongqing, began his crime spree when he shot and killed a woman during a 70,000 yuan bank heist in the city in 2004, Xinhua said.
Police believe he was also responsible for shootings in Changsha, in China's central Hunan province, and Nanjing in the eastern province of Jiangsu, earning him the title "China's most dangerous man" in the Chinese media.
China's Ministry of Public Security classified Zhou as a "class-A" wanted suspect.
"We have not seen this kind of cold-blooded killer in years," one police official told Xinhua news agency.
Chinese media gave the hunt for Zhou heavy coverage, and his death was one of the hottest topics on Sina Weibo -- China's answer to Twitter -- on Tuesday morning, where thousands posted messages praising the police operation.
Gun crime is relatively rare in China, where extremely tight laws bar almost all private ownership of firearms.
China News from SinoDaily.com
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Beijing (AFP) Aug 14, 2012
Two ethnic Tibetan men set themselves on fire together in southwest China to protest Beijing's rule, causing clashes between residents and security forces, rights groups said on Tuesday. A monk and former monk set themselves alight Monday in Aba town in Sichuan province, sparking a protest that authorities quelled by beating demonstrators with batons, Free Tibet and the International Campaig ... read more
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