Chinese official who shot two bosses ‘was facing investigation’
Anti-graft agency also confirms it was investigating former civil affairs minister and deputy
A Sichuan official who shot two of his supervisors before killing himself last week was about to be investigated by graft-busters before he stormed a meeting fired the rounds, a CCDI official said on Monday.
Chen Zhongshu, the land and resources bureau chief of the resources-rich city of Panzhihua, fired at the city’s party chief and mayor during a meeting on Wednesday.
Zhu Guoxian, propaganda chief of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection, said yesterday that Panzhihua’s graft watchdog had planned to launch an investigation into Chen after getting permission from the city’s party committee, confirming a report by the South China Morning Post last week, which cited a source saying Chen had become an investigation target before the shooting.
A number of mainland officials have killed themselves to escape graft probes in recent years, according to mainland media reports, but it is the first time an official was confirmed to have shot others ahead of an imminent probe.
According to Shanghai-based news outlet Thepaper.cn, Chen rushed into the meeting room and fired at party chief Zhang Yan and mayor Li Jianqin before fleeing the scene.
The victims sustained minor wounds, and Chen was later found dead in the hotel building where the meeting was being held.
Chen worked in the city’s anti-corruption department for over 10 years and received national praise in 2015 for keeping cadres under his watch in line, according to earlier mainland media reports.
The CCDI also announced on Monday that former civil affairs minister Li Liguo and his deputy were under investigation, confirming a Post report in November. The Post cited sources at the time who said Li and his deputy, Dou Yupei, were being investigated on suspicion of severe violations of party discipline, a euphemism for corruption.
Luo Dongchuan, the CCDI official who made the announcement, did not give reasons for the investigations.
Both officials were removed from their posts in November.
Li was replaced as the civil affairs minister by former CCDI deputy chief Huang Shuxian in early November, and Dou was removed from his position as deputy minister a week later.
Li, 63, a full member of the party’s Central Committee, should have attended its sixth plenary session in late October. But he was not seen in CCTV news footage of the closing ceremony, prompting widespread speculation that he had fallen foul of the authorities.
Li joined the civil affairs ministry as a deputy head in 2003 and was named head of the ministry in 2010.
Dou worked in the civil affairs ministry for more than 34 years. He was promoted to a vice-minister in late 2005 at the age of 48.