Gunman kills three in bank robbery
Reward offered for arrest of suspect linked to other crimes
A gunman killed three bank staff and escaped with 340,000 yuan (HK$319,000) on Monday in a daring daylight raid.
Police in Qianjiang, Hebei province, identified the suspect as Xie Xianrong, 37, newspaper reports said. Officers said Xie was allegedly responsible for a school robbery case last year in which he killed a driver and wounded a student and a parent.
Monday's robbery took place as two bank staff and security guards were moving 340,000 yuan from a cash transit van to the Qianjiang branch of the Industrial and Commerce Bank.
The gunman, wearing a cap, opened fire when the van stopped outside the bank, a witness told reporters.
The man seized the cash and drove off in a red car.
'The whole thing happened in one minute. It was really fast,' the witness said.
The owner of a nearby store said he rushed out of his shop after he heard several gunshots. He saw a woman lying in a pool of blood and the gunman firing at another man before getting into the car and making his escape.
The bank later said 340,000 yuan had been stolen along with two guns used by the security guards and several bank seals.
A report on the Xinhua website said two security guards and one bank employee were killed.
Another bank worker who was inside the van was severely wounded and in critical condition yesterday.
The robbery has shocked the local community and the Hubei government has ordered police to find the gunman as soon as possible.
Police have mobilised 800 officers to look for Xie.
Officers are offering a 100,000 yuan reward for information leading to an arrest.
Police said Xie allegedly robbed a secondary school of 20,000 yuan in Jingzhou, another Hubei city, in September last year when he killed a policeman, and wounded a student and a parent.
Police tried to arrest him at his home, but he put up stiff resistance, injured a policeman and later escaped from the city.
Hubei has been hit by a string of violent crimes recently.
Last month, a worker set fire to a dormitory after quarrelling with his boss. He threw a homemade bomb at rescue workers and firefighters trying to put out a blaze before setting himself on fire. Four people died and 30 were injured.