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Robbery suspect was 'quiet, well-behaved'

By Xu Wei  (China Daily)

10:06, August 13, 2012

Zhou Kehua, the man suspected of committing a series of violent robberies and killing several people since 2004, is unsociable but likes reading, according to his family's neighbors.

In a attempted raid on Friday, Zhou is alleged to have killed a woman and wounded two men outside a bank in Chongqing's Shapingba district.

"I didn't believe it was him until I saw the wanted notice," said Zhu Guoliang, 52, whose home is less than 100 meters from the three-story house owned by Zhou's parents in the district's Ertang village.

Wang Guobi, a 72-year-old resident who said her son was a classmate of Zhou's at school, recalled: "He was not a naughty or talkative child. He was a good boy."

Wang's son declined interview requests.

Zhou's parents' home is on top of a small hill surrounded by vegetable fields and pigsties. Compared with the bustling metropolis scores of kilometers away, the village looks like a forgotten corner, with a narrow, winding trail connecting the homes.

Zhou spent most of his childhood here, right up until his early 20s.

Zhu recalled Zhou as quiet and well-behaved.

"He never chitchatted after work, " said Zhu, who worked for a time with Zhou.

"Whenever we finished loading a truck, he sat in a corner and read. He never offended anyone. But he also never joined us," Zhu said.

Zhu was most impressed by the young man's habit of reading.

Zhou had more than four years of working experience as a river-sand miner in the 1990s. He was forced to quit as the village contracted the sand mine to private contractors, and Zhou had several jobs after that.

"He worked as a cargo loader and bus driver. Then he went to other cities as a migrant worker," Zhu said.

Zhu said Zhou is a "relatively loyal son" to his parents, who are not very well-off and seldom socialize.

"After he got married, he often visited his parents with his wife and son."

Zhu heard from neighbors that Zhou, already a wanted suspect in several provinces, was back home when his father died in August 2011.

"People said he was back around 9 or 10 pm and left in the morning.

"He is very similar to his father in his character. Neither of them liked to talk. His father would be irritated when someone played jokes on him.

"But I never remember Zhou getting offended. He was quiet and liked being alone."

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