A man killed his wife's cousin and injured his wife with a scythe outside a Yunnan courthouse on Tuesday, leaving the victims' family to question why none of the court's staff stepped in to stop the bloodshed. The suspect, Deng Jiaxi, was due to appear at a court in Kunming's Songming county for a divorce hearing with his wife Yang Changmei, the Yunnan-based Chuncheng Evening News reported. Witnesses said the couple were arguing outside the courthouse, and then Deng removed a scythe from his vehicle parked inside the court area and slashed his wife in the chest. Ms Yang's cousin Zhang Liping tried to stop the attack, but Deng cut her in the back and waist before dropping the weapon. He fled the scene but was detained last night. Zhang was taken to a nearby clinic where she died, while Ms Yang suffered a chest wound and had two fingers amputated in hospital. Zhang's husband, Li Wenhua , said he had reached the scene two minutes after the attack but saw no security personnel, while other court staff were hiding. 'I thought the courthouse is a safe place, but she just died there,' Mr Li told the City Times. Mr Li said he would seek 3 million yuan (HK$3.41 million) from the court in compensation. The court refused to allow reporters in after the incident and did not respond to inquiries. The county propaganda department issued a statement saying there were court staff in the complex when the incident occurred. 'The chief judge and another judge stopped a hearing when they heard screaming. When they reached the courtyard they saw Zhang Liping was already injured. The chief judge informed the police and instructed colleagues to call an ambulance, and reported the incident to leading officials,' the statement said. 'They told the crowd to stay away and took control of the scene.' Ms Yang's brother told the City Times that Deng, a farmer, had repeatedly beaten his wife in their 13 years of marriage and she would frequently leave to stay with Zhang. The brother said Deng signed an agreement witnessed by the village committee last May, promising not to mistreat his wife. However, earlier this month he whipped her and tied her to a cow which then dragged her away. This was the final straw for Ms Yang, who then filed for divorce.