CRIME

Henan slasher suspect Min Yongjun influenced by doomsday rumours

The man who went on a rampage at a rural primary school and injured 23 children is said to believe that the world will end on Friday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 January, 2018, 12:47pm

The man who slashed 23 children with a knife at a rural primary school in Henan on Friday was under the influence of "doomsday" rumours, police said.

Prosecutors in Guangshan county said the suspect was arrested on Sunday on a charge of jeopardising public security and they were checking his mental health after reports he had suffered from epilepsy for 20 years.

The county government said the suspect was 36-year-old Min Yongjun, not Min Yingjun as it had announced earlier.

A propaganda official from the county's Communist Party committee said yesterday Min had told police that his actions had been sparked by widely circulated rumours that the world would end on Friday.

A five-year-old boy was in critical condition and will undergo surgery at the Tongji Hospital in Wuhan , Hubei , the Chutian Golden Daily reported. The hospital said the boy was unconscious when he was admitted last week after suffering bleeding in his brain and a fractured skull. The hospital also admitted seven other pupils with serious wounds to their faces and heads. They were in a stable condition.

It said 23 pupils were slashed, one more than it had reported last week. One injured student was so frightened that he ran home immediately after the attack. His parents later took him to hospital for treatment.

A pupil being treated in hospital told Chutian Golden Daily that when he and his classmates were at their morning book-reading session, they saw Min smash the windows of their classroom with a kitchen knife. Students screamed for help and fled to a corner at the back of the room but were chased by the man.

A nine-year-old boy said more than 10 boys in his class had blocked the front and back doors of their classroom and the man had been unable to enter despite kicking the doors several times. The man then rampaged through other classrooms, the West China City Daily reported.

Most of the students in the village school are "left-behind" children, whose parents work as migrant workers in cities.

Wei Yuegen , the grandfather of six-year-old Wei Xiang , said the boy's head and clothes were covered in blood, xinhuanet.com reported.

"I did not recognise my grandson until he called out to me when I arrived at the entrance of the school, where everybody was crying," Wei said.

Min's relatives said he had left home for several days, dressed only in a cotton sweater, after beating his father.

He picked up the kitchen knife from the home of an 84-year-old woman who lived near the primary school. He stabbed her before going to the school.

Min was subdued by the school's security guards and parents about half an hour after he entered the school.

Xinyang , which administers Guangshan county, said yesterday it would screen the more than 3,000 schools and kindergartens in the city.

Mainland internet users criticised the city government, calling it "shameless", after a report in its mouthpiece Xinyang Daily touted the "glorious achievements" of its education authorities over the past five years.