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January 19, 2010

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Policeman found to have shot victim twice

A POLICE officer under investigation for last week's fatal shootings in Guizhou Province could face a murder charge, a lawyer for the victims' family said yesterday.

Guo Yonghua and his cousin, Guo Yongzhi, of Anshun City in the province, were shot dead by the deputy chief of a local police station, Zhang Lei, when he was handling an alleged brawl.

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.

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, said Xu Jianguo, a lawyer representing the Guo family.

At a press conference yesterday, 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.

Zhang got authorization to carry a gun one month before the incident.

The government spokesman cited Zhang's lack of experience as the main reason for the January 12 tragedy in Pogong Town.

Called to investigate a fight, Zhang had ordered the Guo brothers to be taken to the police station for further inquiries but they refused.

Zhang shouted at them to kneel down, Chinese Business reported, but they refused.

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 at his head, according to the report.


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