State television is reporting that Zhou Kehua, wanted in connection with a series of killings and robberies, was shot dead by Chongqing police on Tuesday morning. From The China Daily:
Zhou Kehua, a 42-year-old “Class-A” wanted suspect who committed his latest homicide on Sunday, shooting a police officer to death, was killed by police, said a CCTV morning news report.
Chongqing Morning News reported that Zhou was killed in a leather factory near Tongjiaqiao street in Shapingba district of Chongqing at about 6:50 am. The paper said plainclothes police discovered Zhou early Tuesday morning and tailed him. After Zhou noticed, the two sides exchanged gunfire. Zhou was killed, and some policemen were slightly injured.
Zhou was known to target people withdrawing money at the bank. He also killed one woman and injured two others outside a bank in Shapingba district last Friday.
Police launched a manhunt for Zhou on Saturday, according to The Telegraph, and Xinhua reported that officials in neighboring provinces also instructed police to suspend their vacation plans as the bounty on Zhou swelled to 5.4 million yuan (~US$850,000):
In the latest failed search attempt, local police over the weekend combed a mountain and a cave which were said to be Zhou’s hideout, only to find a ragged green T-shirt, two cigarette cartons, some skinned wires and fresh excrement.
Zhou has become infamous for robbing people withdrawing money from banks and repeatedly dodging police manhunts.
Officials said the “Class-A” wanted suspect by China’s Ministry of Public Security shot nine people dead and injured five others over the past eight years. The latest victim was a Chongqing police officer who was trying to stop and question Zhou before he was shot.
Word of the manhunt rattled the residents of Chongqing, though some feared that the killer was Zeng Kaihui, who is wanted for a string of violent crimes in Chongqing and elsewhere and who inspired a manhunt in Nanjing in January. From the Wall Street Journal:
Many users on Sina Corp.’s microblogging service Weibo wondered whether the grisly scene might have been the work of serial bank robber and killer “Flat Head,” real name Ceng Kaigui, who murdered a total of four victims on three different occasions in Chongqing between 2004 and 2009.
“Did ‘Flat Head’ commit yet another crime in Chongqing?” asked one user.