Police shoot Chinese man dead after he goes on fatal rampage in a forklift truck

One killed, at least 10 hurt, as 45-year-old leaves early morning trail of devastation on streets of Yantai

PUBLISHED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 1:33pm
UPDATED : Monday, 25 June, 2018, 11:01pm

A man was shot dead by police on Monday morning after driving a forklift truck at vehicles and people in an east China city, killing one and hurting at least 10 others, according to an official announcement.

The incident happened about 7.20am near a bus terminal on Xingfu Middle Road in Yantai, Shandong province, the local public security bureau said in an online statement.

The man behind the wheel was identified as Wang Zhihua, a 45-year-old native of Suihua, a city in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang province.

Police opened fire after various attempts to stop him failed, the statement said, adding that the decision to shoot was taken to “protect the safety of the people and their property”.

It did not provide any more information about Wang, or say if the act was thought to be terrorism linked.

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A video of the incident was shared online by The Beijing News. In the footage, Wang is seen leaving a trail of destruction as he drives the turquoise forklift at high speed along a busy road.

In one clip, he can be seen pushing a silvercar for severalmetres along the carriageway, while in another he lifts a black car high into the air, carries it for about 50 metres (55 yards) and then dumps it on top of a line of parked vehicles.

The footage also shows a passer-by throwing stones at the driver’s cab in a bid to get Wang to stop.

But the rampage ended only when the forklift was surrounded by police officers who opened fire. At least five shots can be heard in the video clip.

The owner of a grocery shop in Yantai said he knew Wang from the neighbourhood.

“He looked pretty normal when he came here with his wife to do his shopping,” the man surnamed Zhang told the South China Morning Post.

“The scene was horrifying. We never expected he would do that.”

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Wang’s family had lived in Yantai for about 20 years and had “a pretty good life”, Zhang said.

He and his wife ran a forklift business with about five or six trucks, and owned a flat close to where the tragic events took place, he said.

Wang’s wife also drove forklifts, Zhang said.

He said he thought Wang “might have had a mental lapse” that made him act in the way he did.

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A worker at a local garage was quoted in The Beijing News report as saying he saw a police officer leap from his motorbike just before it was hit by the forklift truck.

Other people were seen with blood coming from their wounds, the report said, without elaborating.

Police said their investigation was ongoing.