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April 16, 2011

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Slingshot man just trying to hit birds

POLICE said the mysterious shooter who was firing "iron balls" through windows with a slingshot at a residential complex in Yangpu District was actually trying to hit birds.

Police said the man, surnamed Chen, was such a poor shot that he usually missed his targets and the iron balls ended up going through windows.

Officers added that the 34-year-old lived in the complex and had been shooting birds in the complex for years as he liked to eat them.

Police said they solved the case after a surveillance camera recorded Chen using his slingshot, which was purchased online. Officers said they confiscated the slingshot.

Angry residents are now demanding Chen pay for all the windows he had broken.

Plainclothes officers had been patrolling the complex on Yinxing Road, guarding the residential buildings at night while waiting for the shooter to return.

Ten residents had also formed a voluntary team to patrol the complex as they said they couldn't stand the constant fear.

According to residents, it started on April 9 when a man surnamed Shi found several small holes in a window at his first-floor apartment.

At first, residents thought it was some mischievous kids who threw rocks at the windows, which had happened before, but they were terrified when Shi found an iron ball under the window.

"It looked like an iron bullet fired by an air gun," said Shi, who called the police.

But before the police were able to track down Chen, similar incidents occurred in other buildings at the complex. Residents said they had heard glass break during the night and saw small holes in windows the next morning.

On Tuesday, iron balls hit the complex's activity center for seniors, breaking a window and scaring an old man.


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