In the southwestern city of Chongqing on Tuesday, the Chinese police shot dead a fugitive serial killer and armed robber. The massive manhunt was aimed at reassuring people the government would continue a crime crackdown begun by sacked party boss Bo Xilai.
Zhou Kehua, 42, who was responsible for nine deaths across several provinces, was finally cornered and shot dead at a Chongqing shoe factory around dawn.
Keen to put on a show of strength after sacking Chongqing’s controversial Communist Party head Bo, who led a high-profile crimebusting campaign, authorities mobilized thousands of police to catch the killer.
Zhou had been implicated in robberies and killings in three provinces dating back to 2004, and resurfaced last week to shoot dead a woman outside a Chongqing bank.
Authorities described Zhou, who targeted people withdrawing money from banks, as “ruthless and extremely dangerous”: “Police … confirmed that the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau was praised and honored by China’s Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu immediately after the operation,”.
Chinese news portals showed a lurid picture provided by the police of Zhou sprawled on the ground with blood streaming from his head.
Gun crime is rare in China as a result of tight controls over firearms.