Policeman arrested, six officials sacked over fatal shooting of pregnant woman
A police officer has been formally arrested in Guangxi province on Thursday for gunning down a pregnant woman when her husband declined to serve him a milk tea.
The arrest is part of an effort by authorities in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region to quell a public outcry over the senseless murder by the on-duty policeman.
On Monday evening, officer Hu Ping stumbled drunkenly into a noodle restaurant in sleepy Dapeng, a town in Guangxi about 500 kilometres west of Hong Kong, demanding a hot dog bun and a cup of milk tea.
The owner of the restaurant, Cai Shiyong, told him that the restaurant didn’t have either. The menu speciality is Luosifen, a dish of rice noodles cooked in a sour-spicy broth of snails and pork bones. Hu pointed his police pistol at Cai and shot. His first bullet hit Hu’s collar bone, the second and third hit the head and the stomach of Cai’s wife, Wu Ying.
The 30-year-old woman was declared dead within minutes of arriving at the local hospital. The mother of two daughters was five months pregnant. Her husband Cai survived the attack.
Wu’s death sparked an outcry over how a police officer could get away with carrying a gun in a state of drunkenness. He had been assisting fellow police officers from Hunan province who were investigating a case in the town and had taken them to an early dinner to a nearby restaurant, according to the Beijing Youth Daily.
By 10pm, the nine had consumed some 5 litres of strong rice liquor, the restaurant’s owner told the newspaper. Initially, police in the city of Guigang, the administrative centre governing Dapeng, said Hu was on duty when he used his gun in a brawl, but he just shouldn’t have been drunk.
He “didn’t wear a uniform, was carrying a pistol, way past 10pm and caused a brawl,” commented internet pundit Zhou Peng’an. “How is [Hu] different from a bandit? This is too ridiculous.”
On Thursday evening, Guigang police announced in a microblog post Hu’s formal arrest and the dismissal of six of his superiors.
This was not the first time a drunk officer has drawn his weapon in Dapeng. In 2011, police station head Tan Ningjiang fatally shot a lunch companion and wounded a passer-by.