Policeman gets death sentence for shooting

Updated: 2014-02-18 02:04

By AN BAIJIE (China Daily)

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A policeman was sentenced to death on Monday for intentional homicide after being found guilty of shooting a pregnant woman dead at a restaurant in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Hu Ping, a policeman from Pingnan county, killed Wu Ying, owner of a rice noodle shop, and injured her husband Cai Shiyong in the incident on Oct 28, according to Guigang Intermediate People's Court. The court ruled that Hu had been drinking alcohol before the dispute with the couple, which led to the shooting.

Wu was five months pregnant when she was killed and had two daughters, aged 1 and 6.

The court heard the case on Thursday and issued the verdict on Monday. Hu said he will appeal the ruling.

Prosecutors said Hu fired at the ceiling after Wu told him there was no milk tea on sale. He then fired another three shots toward Wu and her husband — two shots hit Wu, in the head and hand, and another hit her husband in the shoulder.

Nanning No 5 People's Hospital has ruled out the possibility that Hu might have mental problems. According to Hu's physical-examination report, which was presented to the court, he was drunk when the incident took place but was in control of his mind.

Hu was carrying a pistol with six bullets and had another five in the holster that night. He told the court on Thursday that he had the gun while off duty because the local police station did not have gun control equipment.

One of Hu's colleagues told Xinhua News Agency that their station had lax gun control procedures and it was not unusual for officers to carry a gun around after work. When Hu committed the crime, he had only been carrying the gun for less than two weeks.

During the five-hour trial, Hu apologized and said he would like to be reconciled with the victim's family members, but Wu's family refused to accept his apology and rejected his request.

The victim's family requested a strict sentence and 1.23 million yuan ($201,300) in compensation. They received a compensatory payment of 730,000 yuan from the local government before the court heard the case.

The case triggered a public outcry after it was disclosed through the media, with many netizens expressing their anger at the woman's murder.

It was ranked among the 10 most serious cases of disciplinary or legal violations by police officers, judges and prosecutors in the past year, according to a statement issued on Feb 11 by the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the Communist Party of China Central Committee.

The case is not the first in recent years involving a policeman shooting civilians. On July 21, 2011, the chief officer of a police station in Laibin, Guangxi, went on a shooting spree after getting drunk, killing one person and injuring another.