Man guns down three judges, kills himself

09:10, June 02, 2010      

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A man firing an automatic weapon burst into a court office in Hunan province on Tuesday, fatally shooting three judges and wounding three other people before killing himself, local authorities said.

The incident happened at 10:05 am at Lingling district court in Yongzhou, the city's public security department said.

The attacker, identified as 46-year-old Zhu Jun, a security supervisor, barged into an office on the fourth floor of the court building and started shooting with a submachine gun and two pistols at several judges.

Three senior judges died immediately, and another judge and two clerks were injured, one of them critically, said a spokesman for the city's publicity department who would only give his surname as Tang.

He said the judges were discussing a case unrelated to Zhu.

Zhu, surrounded by court personnel rushing in, put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger, according to local authorities.

Calls to the court were not answered on Tuesday afternoon.

Zhu was head of a security squad of the postal bureau in Lingling district, police said.

It is illegal for individuals to possess guns in China, but security departments of certain organizations, such as banks and post offices, are entitled to have guns.

At around 7:30 am on Tuesday, Zhu lied to one of his subordinates that he needed to get the guns examined by higher authorities, and took the three weapons, police said.

It is not clear how Zhu entered the court office building with security guards on duty.

Preliminary investigations show Zhu's motive was to take revenge on the court.

Family and colleagues told police that Zhu thought the court unjustly handled the division of property when he divorced three years ago.

The victims were not involved in the divorce case, police said.

Zhu was at home for two months on sick leave and returned to work only three days earlier, they said.

Such violent attacks are rare in the country but in recent months, there has been a spate of stabbings and attacks on schoolchildren by attackers wielding knives, and in one case, a hammer.

And this is not the first time that people disagreeing with a court ruling have resorted to extreme action to express their anger.

In January 2006, Qian Wenzhao, a 62-year-old farmer in Minle county of Gansu province, went into a local court and set off explosives. Five people died, including the deputy Party secretary of the county, the head of the court, and Qian himself, and 19 were injured.

Qian committed the crime because he was angry at the court's judgment on the divorce of his son.

Qian's son committed suicide during detention when he was held in 2005 for refusing to compensate his divorced wife according to the court's instructions. Qian insisted that his son died of abuse.

Xinhua and AP contributed to this story.

Source: China Daily

(Editor:王寒露)

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