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February 12, 2010

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Cop who shot 2 dead is detained

A POLICE officer who shot two villagers dead last month in southwest China's Guizhou Province has been detained on charge of improper gun use.

Zunyi police have detained Zhang Lei, a deputy of a police station in Pogong Town, Guangling Autonomous County of Guizhou's Anshun City.

Zhang shot dead Guo Yonghua and his cousin Guo Yongzhi in Pogong on January 12 when he was handling an alleged brawl between the cousins and other people in Pogong.

An autopsy found that Guo Yongzhi was shot once in the leg and once in the head before he died, contrary to a previous statement that Zhang shot each victim once after they tried to snatch his gun.

Xu Jianguo, a lawyer representing the Guo family, said earlier that China's restrictions on police gun use would make Zhang a murder suspect if he shot a second bullet after his first disabled the victim.

Zhang's colleagues described him as hot-tempered, saying he had only won a gun permit a month before the incident.

His lack of experience has been blamed for the tragedy.

At a press conference on January 18, the Anshun City government said the two victims were drunk when they were shot.

They also said an investigation found that Guo Yongzhi had tried to take Zhang's gun.

When asked whether Zhang shot Guo Yongzhi unnecessarily for a second time, the government spokesman said police were still investigating.

The township government has offered each family 350,000 yuan (US$51,276) in compensation.

Witnesses said Zhang shot Guo Yongzhi in the leg after he shot Guo Yonghua in the head.

Zhang later walked to Guo Yongzhi, who was crawling on the ground for help, and shot him again in the head, according to an earlier report by Chinese Business View.


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