Gunman storm courthouse, killing 3 judges in Hunan

08:13, June 02, 2010      

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A disgruntled security guard opened fire and killed three judges on Tuesday before committing suicide at a courthouse in China's central Hunan Province, local police said.

The gun shooting was a rare case of firearm casualties in the country and is to stoke public concerns about stricter gun control.

The 46-year-old local man, Zhu Jun, who worked as the head of security at a post office, broke into an office on the fourth floor of the courthouse and launched his shooting spree at about 9:50 am at Lingling District People's Court in Yongzhou city, using a submachine gun and two more pistols that he borrowed from his coworker, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

The shooting was reportedly motivated by revenge after a court settlement from his divorce didn't go favorably with the security guard. Police is investigating the case.

Local media said a man wearing a cap and a black backpack entered the Lingling court building.

The shooter used the submachine gun to shoot two court officials: Chief Judge Zhao Huning and Deputy Chief Judge Jiang Qidong. He then used a pistol to kill Deputy Chief Judge Tan Bin, according to the website of Hunan Daily.

A doctor at the People's Hospital of Lingling, who declined to be named, said that one of the injured was admitted to the ICU ward with a chest wound.

A preliminary police investigation indicated that the suspect, Zhu, had been motivated by retaliation, Xinhua said.

Zhu divorced his wife three years ago.He requested that a court divide their property, but he claimed that he received an unfair property settlement from the court, according to police who spoke with Zhu's family and colleagues.

However, police said the judges killed Tuesday were not those involved in his divorce case.

It was unknown how he managed to enter the courthouse, which is usually heavily guarded.

Shootings are rare in China, where guns are strictly controlled and private ownership is illegal.

According to the China News Service, Zhu got the firearms from a fellow security guard by saying he would take the guns to the city for examination.

Firearms for civilian use are strictly controlled in China.Those who are lawfully allowed to use guns in their official duties include members of the military, as well as guards of finances, State warehouses, large water conservatories, power plants and communications facilities, according to the regulations.

China has seen a string of knife attacks in schools and kindergartens since late March that have left at least 17 people dead and dozens injured.

In 2008, Yang Jia stormed into a police office building in Shanghai, killing six police officers and injured four others.

People's Daily Online / Xinhua


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