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Crowd links shooting death to organized crime in Foshan

MORE than 100 people gathered in downtown Foshan City yesterday, claiming a hotel was involved in organized crime as one of its security guards allegedly shot dead a guest last week in Guangdong Province.

The dead man, Chen Xing, a 38-year-old Sichuan Province native, visited the hotel's nightclub with friends on Friday and was shot to death after a conflict with security guards, Southern Metropolis Daily reported today.

Police are investigating but the suspect is still at large, the report said.

Chen's wife and sister were in the street crying, telling passersby what happened. They attracted many onlookers, the report said.

Shi Jianqiong, Chen's wife, said her husband had traveled to Foshan from Zhaoqing City, also in Guangdong, on Friday to celebrate his friend's birthday.

The two men and some other friends visited the hotel that night. There, they met another fellow townsman who had a conflict with the hotel's security guards.

A witness surnamed Han, Chen's fellow townsman, told the newspaper that three security guards went to the neighboring building and grabbed two guns and a 1.5-meter-long knife after the quarrel. They stabbed one of Chen's friends and fled separately in three directions.

Chen followed one security guard who held a gun, Han said, adding he heard a shot soon afterwards.

They rushed into a room and found Chen had been shot in the left chest, the report said. He died in hospital. The suspect, who was also taken to the hospital, ran away.

The hotel admitted the man who shot Chen is an employee, but denied it was involved in organized crime. The hotel failed to explain why its security guards had guns, according to the report.

It was also alleged that Chen and his friends were members of a Sichuan gang who were trying to charge protection money from the hotel that night. Insiders said the hotel's nightclub was contracted out to individuals to operate.

Police said they had already targeted some suspects but declined to provide further details.

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