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September 3, 2010

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4 killed in bloody fracas over 1 yuan

SHANGHAI police detained a suspect yesterday after four men were stabbed to death late Wednesday night in a bloody quarrel over 1 yuan (US15 cents) at a residential complex in Yangpu District.

One of the dead was the keeper of the complex's bike shed, Liu Haihao, 46. The other three, who fought with Liu, were relatives of a man surnamed Hong.

The three got into the fight with Liu Haihao, a Jiangsu Province native, over how much they should pay for parking their mopeds, accusing Liu of overcharging 1 yuan more than he should have.

Police are still looking into the case, trying to figure out who exactly stabbed whom in the dark. They refused to identify the suspect they detained.

When police arrived, three dead bodies were lying on the ground. Another man was spotted with a knife still inserted in the belly, and he died after being rushed to Changhai Hospital.

"'Help, help!' I just heard the screaming after 10pm," said a resident at the complex on Siping Road.

The incident started when a man surnamed Hong and a relative, both ready to head for home, went to the shed to get their mopeds. They had had dinner at their nephew's home at the complex to celebrate the sixth birthday of the boy, said neighbors who were gathered outside the shed 12 hours after the bloody incident.

But the two argued with Liu, believing that they were overcharged. Liu required the two to pay 1 yuan for each moped. But Hong argued each moped should only be charged 0.5 yuan.

When seeing the keeper refused to make concession, the two went back to their nephew's home and got more people to help them, according to the neighbors.

Liu summoned his wife and 17-year-old son, and the two sides confronted each other.

Liu tried to stop the other side from leaving without paying, and grabbed a knife from the shed, where his family lived, to stab the others.

But the knife was taken away and he was stabbed himself.

With poor weather keeping most people indoors, residents didn't witness the violence. But they heard screams for help and dialed the emergency number.

Yesterday, Liu's wife, with thick bandages dotted by blood around her injured left arm, said she was preparing for her husband's funeral with other family members.

"I may not lift any heavy stuff any more," she said, referring to her injuries.

The son, also injured in the violent incident, had been taken away by police for questioning.

"The (Hong's) family were drunk, obviously," said a neighbor, believing it the main cause of the tragedy. "They were on impulse and may have no idea what they were doing."

According to the residents, the other three dead were the six-year-old boy's father and two uncles. The family, from Anhui Province, had just moved into the neighborhood a few months ago.


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