Three people have been confirmed dead and two people injured in a shooting in Muchuan county, part of Leshan city, Sichuan province.
The incident took place at around 2pm on July 26. The suspect fled the scene, according to Global Times.
Police in Muchuan confirmed that the suspect is a 36-year-old male surnamed Li. They have urged the public to come forward with any relevant information related to Li, and have offered RMB100,000 as a reward.
The police have released pictures of Li, as well as other information, including his ID card number.
Police released pictures of the suspect Li. Image via Weibo/@城里的傻瓜
Li’s background has garnered attention among media and on Chinese social media platforms, with the subject of how he was able to obtain a gun coming under scrutiny.
Media reports from July 26 – the day on which the incident occurred – may provide some answers.
A number of news outlets stated that the aforementioned suspect Li was in fact a police officer in Muchuan county. A source close to the Muchuan county government reportedly told The Paper that “Officer Li fled the scene (of the crime) with a gun.”
Moreover, SINA News reports that the Muchuan county Public Security Bureau (PSB) published an article online in September, 2021 about Li, describing his acts of bravery in saving two people from drowning. The article has now been deleted.
On July 27 – one day after the shooting – Muchuan county PSB issued a statement via their Weibo account. It confirmed that three people had died and that two people had been injured, but that their injuries were not life threatening.
The statement issued via Muchuan county PSB's Weibo account. Image via Weibo/@沐川公安
The statement mentioned that 36-year-old Li was being investigated for his involvement in a “major criminal case.” The statement made no reference to whether Li had served as a police officer.
Incidents involving guns in China are rare, but certainly not unheard of.
On May 30, 2022, a man was shot dead by police in Chongqing municipality in Southwest China. According to a police statement regarding the incident, the man in question had become violent and started attacking police.
READ MORE: Man Shot Dead by Police in Southwest China
[Cover image via Pixabay]