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Wuhan gunman killed; hostage freed unharmed

POLICE shot and killed a man who took a hostage and wounded a police officer yesterday at a university in central China's Hubei Province.

The incident began at 9am when a man took a female staff member hostage at gunpoint in the Party committee office at Wuhan University.

The suspect, identified as Zhou Kai, 40, had previously served with the armed police force before he joined the university as a logistics worker and was fired later for committing a criminal offense.

Alerted to the intrusion, university security staff came to the scene, evacuated the building and called police.

Detectives and a SWAT team from the Wuhan Public Security Bureau arrived, and negotiators tried to talk Zhou out of the office.

Police negotiated for several hours but found he had no clear demands. He appeared agitated and sometimes delusional, said Xia Zhigang, vice director of the Wuhan Public Security Bureau.

In a rescue operation, an armed police officer, Tan Jixiong, pretended to be a canteen worker bringing a meal. He entered the room about 2:50pm and was shot in the head by the hostage taker, police said.

Officers waiting outside immediately shot and killed the suspect. The woman who was held hostage was released unharmed.

Tan was seriously injured but was in stable condition after doctors removed the bullet.

Zhou had been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison, with a three-year reprieve, for illegally confining others in July last year. He was still under police supervision and had a history of drug use, according to Xia.

Local media reported that Zhou was the son of a professor at the university's college of sciences.


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