• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 5:19am
NewsHong Kong

Gunman Li Tak-yan had a history of attacking neighbours

Source reveals killer was jailed for previous chopper assault as police search for clues behind fatal shooting of fellow estate resident

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 June, 2014, 11:49am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 6:30pm

A jobless ex-convict who shot himself dead yesterday 12 hours after allegedly killing a resident of his public housing estate had previously been jailed for wounding another neighbour.

Police were investigating gunman Li Tak-yan's background and looking for any links to Liu Kai-chung, 43, who was fatally shot late on Saturday night. A police source said there was no indication the two men knew each other.

Liu was found in the lift lobby near his home on the 21st floor of Lok Ching House on the Kai Ching Estate in Kowloon Bay. Li, 51, lived 11 floors below.

The shooting sparked a 12-hour drama, which ended when elite police used stun grenades and tear gas to storm Li's flat. They found him fatally wounded with a gun by his side.

Watch: Man believed to be suspect of Hong Kong tower block killing sent to hospital

A police source said mental health issues were among the lines of investigation. "At this stage, a mental problem is one of the possibilities, " the source said.

The source also revealed that Li - a mainland immigrant - had served time in jail in 2011 for attacking a neighbour in Yuen Long with a chopper and hammer.

The latest drama began at about 11.20pm on Saturday when residents on the 21st floor heard arguing followed by three gunshots. Liu was shot twice in the chest and once in the back. Three empty 7.62mm cartridges were found at the scene.

The police source said CCTV footage showed Li and Liu taking the lift with other residents. Liu walked out at the 21st floor and Li followed. "CCTV footage showed they did not have any conversation inside the lift," the source said. Li then returned to his flat, where he lived alone. Police cordoned off the building until 5am when residents were allowed back inside.

The police source said the CCTV footage helped to identify Li as the gunman. Police sealed off the 10th floor, phoning residents and ordering them to stay inside as 150 officers surrounded the building.

Shortly before 11am, Li fired two shots at police, who returned a single shot. No one was hurt. Li then clambered onto his flat's window ledge and pointed a gun at his head before returning inside, from where a gunshot was heard at 11.13am. Police then fired more than 20 rounds of tear gas and stun grenades into the flat and two "Flying Tigers" special duty officers slid down ropes and entered. Li was found unconscious with a 7.62mm gun by his side. A second 7.62mm weapon was found later. Li was declared dead at a hospital.

Police are working with Guangdong authorities to trace the guns, as such weapons usually come from the mainland.

Liu, an air-conditioning technician, is survived by his wife in Zhuhai and a son, five, who lives with Liu's sister in Hong Kong. Li's wife also lives on the mainland.

Watch: Police ask reporters to take cover after fresh gunshots heard in Hong Kong Tower

Correction: An earlier version of this article gave the name of the alleged gunman as Lee Tak-yan, the name released by police on Sunday. On Monday evening, police confirmed that the suspect's name is Li Tak-yan.


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This article is now closed to comments

Instead of saluting the bravery of the HK police, the Monday morning quarterbacks are whingeing because they were not evacuated or kept fully up to date. Tough! these situations are fluid and the police have enough to deal with. The guy was going nowhere, surely the safest place for residents is inside their units. As usual the press did their best to f*** up the work of the police.
The media has never cared as long as they get the story. Look at how often in the past where they will get in the way of ambulances and medical staff just to get a few pictures.
The media abusing their freedom of the press has been going on for a very long time.
I pay my full credit to the HK Police.
its acceptable to keep the operation details in secret in otherwise the operation might be jeopardised..
For the media, did they consider their reporting at the scene that would affect the police deployment? While SDU was deployed outside the building, the gunman could easily shot them down if he watched the television reporting.
I believe that the media should behave themselves. Their reportings may affect the police deployment and the policemen safety.
Don't abuse the freedom of reporting, please.
What? No snide insinuations from a lawmaker that the Police caused the suicide of a good citizen whose only bad trait is killing someone? No suggestion that guns are not actually dangerous? Common sense prevailed, although only by the narrowest of margins.
I was amused at the reaction of a woman resident to the siege. Her ire at her inconvenience and not being informed shows:
1). Just how selfish Hong Kong People have become; and
2). how biased the mainstream press actually are.
As usual, HKers are complaining everything.
A complainer said she has not been informed what is going on (Sound like she expects a person sittting by her briefing everthing) . Another person complains no one call him to tell him what to do. (Sound like he expects the police know the telephone number of every resident and call them one by one)
This tme no bashing from the lawmaker who had once said that police officers should run away when facing a thug with weapon instead of shooting him.
Why did the residents expect the full information at the scene instantly?
Is it possible to do so? Please think logically that the police was still seeking the suspect, and how could they deliever all information to the residents, which may include tge culprit, and the media immediately?
A lot of rubbish comments here from people who clearly have no idea what they are talking about. It is evident that the safety of other residents was taken care of, although not every resident was given an individual call and briefing. What do these people expect! Appears to me the police got it right as no one else was injured. Although, as usual, the Hong Kong press behaved like complete morons by getting in the way.
wow, you seem so knowledgeable in police crisis tactics. The only ones engaging the target were the SDU, whereas the remaining officers were there to help clear the area.
Were you expecting an american style shootout? Don't we get enough of that from the states?



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