During a high-level government meeting in Sichuan province on Wednesday morning, a senior official shot two of his superiors before killing himself.
The shocking incident occurred at a convention and exhibition center in the city of Panzhihua located in the far south of Sichuan. Chen Zhongshu, the city’s land and resources bureau chief, rushed into a room where the meeting was being held and unloaded on mayor Li Jianqin and Communist Party chief Zhang Yan before fleeing the scene.
Chen, 54, was later found dead inside the building. Li and Zhang sustained only minor wounds in the shooting.
Zhang Yan, Li Jianqin, Chen Zhongshu
Currently, the motive for the shooting is not known. However, it might have something to do with the fact that Li recently became mayor of Panzhihua only 5 months ago after previously heading the internal watchdog office of the Ministry of Land and Resources.
A source told SCMP that since Li had become mayor, Chen — the city’s land and resources bureau chief — had been placed under investigation.
An unnamed government source claims that Chen had complained to his friends about Li and Zhang “ratting on him.” Another report claims that Chen had a “stubborn personality and explosive temper,” mentioning that once when a colleague’s phone rang during a meeting, he seized the phone and slammed it to the ground, shattering it into pieces.
Panzhihua, located in a mountainous region near to the Yunnan border, is home to one of the country’s largest mines where workers extract tons of iron ore, titanium and cobalt from the earth. The gigantic mining operation makes up the majority of the city’s economic output.
Guns are of course very illegal in China. It’s not clear how Chen obtained his firearm.
Follow Shanghaiist on WeChat