Three policemen shot dead in gunfire exchange
Police officers restrain a murder suspect after a cross-city chase in east China's Shandong Province. Two policemen and two auxiliary police officers were shot dead in gunfire in Tai'an City. Five others, including two civilians, were wounded.
Three policemen were shot dead and six people injured in a rare shoot-out in eastern China, a nation where guns are strictly controlled, the public security ministry said on Wednesday.
Tai'an City, Shandong Province, January 5, 2010 - Two men wielding a shotgun and a homemade pistol fatally shot three police officers and an assistant and staged a series of carjackings in a city in East China, state news media reported Wednesday, a rare example of gun violence in a nation where average citizens are largely barred from owning firearms.
The episode in Tai’an, a city in Shandong Province, left five others wounded after officers and assistants of the city public security bureau visited a home to question a murder suspect.
The official Xinhua news agency reported that the officers and the assistant were killed at the home, shot by two men inside who fired through an accordion gate that covered the doorway. The four, from a neighborhood precinct station, were unarmed; officers in the public security bureau, as the Chinese police are called, sometimes do not carry weapons.
The two men fled and hijacked four vehicles during a long chase that ended in downtown Tai’an after police officers rammed their vehicle into the suspects’ car. Two drivers of hijacked cars were among those wounded, Xinhua reported. The others were police officials. One suspect was captured alive. The second was reported to have shot himself.
News reports stated that officers recovered a double-barrel shotgun, a homemade pistol, 7 shotgun cartridges and 180 bullets. A woman who answered the telephone at Tai’an public security headquarters declined to comment.
Gun violence is exceedingly rare in China, where almost all firearms are in state hands. The only significant exception grants hunters the right to own guns, but only after an onerous application process.
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