Family members of the woman who was killed by a sword-wielding man in Beijing’s Sanlitun district last week said that the victim and attacker didn’t know each other, putting to rest online rumors that he was the woman’s ex-lover.
Gu Wenqing, a Shandong province native, was stabbed in the chest outside of a Uniqlo store in the capital’s bustling Sanlitun shopping and bar area on the afternoon of August 13. Images and video footage showing the woman lying on the ground covered in blood as her husband tried to help her quickly spread online. The woman’s husband, who was injured in the attack, has been identified as a French national named Mariaud Romain, a former employee of Beijing’s French Embassy.
Gu Wendi, the sister of the deceased woman, confirmed with the Global Times at the woman’s funeral yesterday that the attack was completely random and that the killer had been seen wandering around the same area for three days beforehand.
She also confirmed online posts that the killer had told the two he “hated Americans” before stabbing them with a one-meter long sword.
“The murderer said he hated Americans and asked whether my brother-in-law was an American. My brother-in-law replied that he is French and asked him not to hurt them. But the man stabbed them in the back when they walked past him,” said Gu.
Gu Wenqing died after being taken to the Chaoyang Hospital, while Romain has been transferred from the Intensive Care Unit and is recovering.
The suspected attacker has been identified as a 25-year-old man surnamed Gao. He will undergo a psychiatric examination and depending on the results, he could face the death penalty, according to a lawyer cited in the Global Times.