20 Students Injured by Mallet-Wielding Man in Beijing Primary School

By Edoardo Donati Fogliazza, January 9, 2019

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An attack directed at the students of a Beijing elementary school took place in the late morning of Tuesday, January 8, resulting in 20 injured schoolkids, four of which required surgical treatment. 

The tragic incident happened at the No.1 Affiliated Elementary School of Beijing Xuanwu Normal School, in central Beijing’s Xicheng District. The aggression was carried out by a 49-year-old man from the Northwestern province of Heilongjiang, identified in official reports by its surname Jia, a worker at the school who used a mallet to injure the children who were attending the third class of the day. 

The entrance of the No.1 Affiliated Elementary School of Beijing Xuanwu Normal School. Image via CCTV

The Xicheng District government first reported the incident on the afternoon of January 8 through a post on social media platform Sina Weibo, disclosing that an attack against students had been carried out at around 11.17am but that no children were left in life-threatening conditions. A later post from the district government’s official Weibo account reported that the attacker had been caught. 

READ MORE: 9 Students Killed in Knife Attack at Chinese Middle School

It appears that after the attack activity at the school continued normally. Videos from local media and from state-run broadcaster CCTV show that on the afternoon of January 8, parents collected in front of the school to pick up their children as they normally would but were met by an unusual gathering of police cars and of security personnel. Details about the attack were released only later that evening with a second Weibo post

The district government reported the attack only at around 3pm on December 8 through a Weibo post. Image via @北京西城/Weibo

At 8pm on Tuesday, a press conference was finally held at the school and was attended by local media, representatives from the school, the district chief and local authorities. During the press conference, broadcasted by CCTV, authorities reported the motive of the attack: the man, a maintenance worker at the school, was assigned other duties by the company in charge of school maintenance after his previous contract expired on January 1, which led him to vent his anger against schoolchildren. School representatives denied that the man was in a dispute with the school itself. The weapon was also confirmed to have been a mallet he used for reparations. By the time the conference took place, three of the four hospitalized students had already successfully undergone surgery. 

The attack is the latest in a series of similar aggressions targeting children that were carried out in public schools across China last year. In June 2018, a knife-wielding man killed nine students and injured 10 more at a school in Yulin, Shaanxi. In June, two students perished during another knife attack at a primary school in Shanghai. The latest attack took place at the end of October at a Chongqing kindergarten, where a woman injured 14 children with yet another knife attack. 

Parents gathering to pick up their children on the afternoon of the day of the attack. Image via CCTV

The press conference held at the school on the evening of January 8. Image via @北京西城/Weibo

[Cover image via CCTV]

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