Gunman wanted after woman shot dead in Chongqing bank robbery

Updated: 11 Aug 2012
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bank robbery
A woman's body lies outside a Bank of China branch in Shapingba District in the southwest city of Chongqing yesterday morning after a man grabbed the woman's bag and shot her dead. He also wounded her companion and a guard who tried to chase him.
 
A WOMAN was shot dead and her companion and a guard were wounded when a robber opened fire outside a bank in southwest China's Chongqing Municipality yesterday.

Police named the suspect as 42-year-old Zhou Kehua, a Chongqing local suspected of having committed several murders and robberies in Jiangsu and Hunan provinces and Chongqing since 2004.

Zhou's mugshot and criminal history are similar to a gunman who earlier this year killed a bank customer in Nanjing, capital city of Jiangsu.

According to the People's Daily, insiders with the Jiangsu public security bureau said it was the same man but that hasn't yet been confirmed by Chongqing police, who are offering a 500,000 yuan (US$78,650) reward for information leading to the killer's arrest.

The Ministry of Public Security also offered a 100,000 yuan reward for tip-offs.

Zhou, a native of Ertang Village in Chongqing, is about 1.67 meters tall and of medium build. He has dark skin, double eyelids and long and broad face, with black moles on his right eyebrow and left ear. He speaks Mandarin with a Chongqing accent.

Police said he grabbed the woman's bag and shot her outside a Bank of China branch in Shapingba District at around 9:34am yesterday.

Zhou also opened fire on the woman's companion and a bank security guard when they tried to chase him as he jumped on a motorcycle to escape. The identities of the three victims haven't been disclosed.

Online pictures showed a woman and a man lying on the ground near a car, with trails of blood on the ground and the security guard shot in the arm.

Checkpoints have been set up on main roads and an intensive search for the suspect is under way.

Taxi drivers were sent short messages listing a description of the killer saying he was wearing a pinstriped shirt, black pants and black shoes and was carrying a white knitted bag.

Police said that Zhou had killed several people during armed robberies in Jiangsu and Hunan provinces and Chongqing since 2004. They didn't say how they were able to identify him.

The Nanjing robber was dubbed one of the most dangerous men in China for shooting dead a total of six people in armed robberies in different cities over the past eight years.

His killing spree began in 2004 when, on April 22, he shot one person dead and injured another during a bank robbery in Chongqing and escaped with 70,000 yuan.

On May 16, 2005, also in Chongqing, he shot and killed two people at another bank and robbed them of 170,000 yuan.

The other incidents were in Changsha in central Hunan Province. On October 14, 2009, a man died after the suspect fired six shots at him. On December 4, 2009, a man was killed leaving a bank and 45,000 yuan was stolen.

On October 25, 2010, the suspect killed a man and stole his bag, and on June 28 last year, he shot at a man but ran off after people called for help.

Rewards totalling more than 3 million yuan are on offer for his arrest.

SOURCE: Shanghai Daily
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