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2 shot over alleged drug dispute

GUNFIRE rocked a residential complex in Shanghai's Putuo District yesterday afternoon after what may have been a drug deal gone bad left two men shot and one man with stab wounds.

One of the victims, an unidentified man who was shot in the forehead, was in critical condition last night at Huadong Hospital. Meanwhile, police were combing the area for the other two injured men and their companions.

Shots rang out at about 12:30pm near the entrance of Huili Garden, a residential development on Changshou Road, only a 10-minute walk from the headquarters of the Shanghai Public Security Bureau.

Witnesses said the incident started with a dispute between a man, about 30 years old, his three to four friends and another, much younger-looking man.

A middle-aged female witness said the 30-year-old told the younger man, "I don't have to pay you for the drugs." The witness, who said she was only a few meters away from the men, said most of them talked in a northeastern Chinese accent.

When the younger man threatened to beat the man who said he wouldn't pay, the others attacked him, and one of them stabbed the younger man in the back with a small knife, the witness told Shanghai Daily.

At that point, another man, believed to be an acquaintance of the stabbed victim, jumped out a white minibus, took out a pistol and fired, hitting two of the men, according to several witnesses.

"I was horrified when I saw the pistol and dashed into a fruit store," the female witness said.

Another witness, who was watching from his 15th-floor apartment, said he saw the fight continue after the gunfire erupted. He said he saw the men who had been shot try to run away with their friends. One managed to escape, but the other slowed down as he tried to flee past an iron gate, giving the gunman time to catch up and shoot him again.

The victim was rushed to Huadong Hospital, where doctors said they performed surgery on his forehead wound.

Yesterday afternoon, a SWAT team had cordoned off the shooting scene, and investigators were collecting evidence. Police said they could not confirm that the case involved a drug transaction.


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