• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 10:28pm
NewsHong Kong

Residents lived in fear of Kowloon Bay gunman Li Tak-yan, neighbours say

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 June, 2014, 11:16pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 June, 2014, 7:08am

Kowloon Bay gunman Li Tak-yan once banged violently on almost every neighbour's door to complain about noise, according to a resident who knew him.

And in August 2011, the divorced and jobless man attacked a neighbour when he was living in a temporary housing estate in Yuen Long. He was jailed for a year for slashing the man's hand.

Tales of his temper emerged after a 12-hour drama in which Li, a 51-year-old mainland immigrant, is believed to have shot and killed himself when police surrounded his 10th-floor flat in Lok Ching House, Kai Ching Estate, on Sunday morning. He is suspected of having shot dead a 43-year-old air-conditioning technician, Liu Kai-chung, on the 21st floor on Saturday night.

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Police searching Li's flat have taken away two 7.62mm calibre pistols, one homemade, 43 rounds of ammunition, three knives, three holsters and a computer. They are seeking help from Guangdong police on how the weapons entered Hong Kong and on Li's background.

Li's hot temper was well known even to residents of other floors, said an 11th-floor resident giving his name only as Wong.

"He's not the kind of neighbour who you can have a casual chat with," he said. "About half a year ago, he banged on everyone's door [on my floor] to complain about a noise problem and no one dared to open their doors."

But Li returned to his flat after Wong suggested that he complain to the police instead.

"So he didn't seem to be that irrational to me."

Wong recalled that on another occasion Li gave him "an unfriendly stare" when he was putting rubbish out. That was the last time he saw Li.

A 17th-floor resident, Tsang Yuk, said that when she took her son to the courtyard downstairs she always saw Li wearing the same red polo shirt.

"His shirt stank so bad as if he never washed it," she said, adding that he acted rather strangely and liked to sit in different corners of the playground.

Another resident recalled that Li "walked like a mafia boss" and had a tendency to swing his arms forcefully when he walked in the courtyard.

"But he would sometimes say hello to neighbours so I really didn't expect this," she said, referring to Li's shooting of Liu.

A 21st-floor resident who reported the Saturday attack to the police said he emerged from the lift that night to see Liu lying on the ground. The victim held a key in his hand and had two red spots on his chest. His thigh had another wound.

"I had never seen people being shot before, so I wasn't sure what was happening," the resident told television news reporters. He thought himself lucky that he did not board the lift earlier or he might have been involved in the drama.


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This article is now closed to comments

Now, I'm not trying to annoy anyone with this comment but... you do realise that these 'uneducated peasants' as you call them represent the majority of 2nd, 3rd or 4th generation Hong Kongers' parents, grandparents or great-grandparents? Immigration has been what Hong Kong has been about since its foundation, and, by all accounts, this guy had been here legally since 1980. So, when are you suggesting a person can be classed a Hong Konger? From birth? After 40 years? 3rd generation? Just remember, you're favourite tycoon and mine, Uncle Li, arrived here with little learning and from a poor family in 1941 while escaping the Japanese.
With that SCMP-logic every Hongkonger with Chinese background can be regarded as a Mainlander. Maybe the SCMP is now calssifying every criminal Hongkogner as a Mainlander, becuase his/her roots are in China and every non-criminal Hongkonger is just a real Hongkonger.
Perhaps it is better to recognise and deal properly with the fact that every society around the world has such "sick" members, who can any time just "explode". Hong Kong is a very jam-packed and hectic place. I am rahter surprised that is is still a very safe place and not more of those hot-tempered dharacters just explode and shoot around. A good thing is that posession of weapons is illegal in HK. Otherwise we would have more of these incidents.
so if your are a uneducated peasant from china you are instantly entitled to free housing, plus . plus plus

what is the strategy?
I read on SCMP yesterday that LI was an immigrant from the mainland and was wondering why he had public housing. Later I saw on TV that he arrived in HK in 1980.
For the SCMP to describe him as a mainland immigrant is inflammatory. Shame on you.
I just posted above, but 'this'! Almost every Hong Konger has a Chinese background if you go back far enough. Should we now refer to CY Leung as 'son of mainland immigrant'? His Dad came from Shandong in the 30s before you start googling!
Absolutely my pleasure. It seems that you need to read up some more on the local history. I recommend, 'A Concise History of Hong Kong' by John M. Carroll. I think it would put a lot into perspective for you regarding the local context.
Now, first and foremost, you're getting all aerated over the fact that this guy was an immigrant from China living in public housing. He came to HK in 1980. As you pointed out the world is different now! Very very different. Ronnie was president of the free world, Thatcher was PM and red China was looming large on the horizon. Sorry... more history. Suffice to say, was he not entitled to it after THIRTY-FOUR years in HK!?
Now, back to 2014. Are 'uneducated peasants' really streaming over the border straight into public housing. The answer is no. That just isn't the case as you really should know. Actually, what evidence is there of this? None that I know of.
As for the 'no country on Earth would do this (put immigrants into public housing)', I can name 8 off the top of my head. The UK, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and Canada all do this. Now, whether that's right is another debate, but regarding your original 'uneducated peasants' barb, I do believe Jimmy Pineapple said it best... 'Case. F****ng. Closed!'
Yeah, you really don't get sarcasm do you! LOL! Read my post again and think outside the box, Padawan!
Just how easy is it for an unemployed man, who apparently was not a gangster, to get two guns? There used to be the idea that weaponry of that nature was not easily obtained in Hong Kong. I think we need to see some answers about this worrisome developement..
Uneducated peasants from china......just as bad as uneducated SCMP readers......



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