‘Unstable’ knifeman arrested at gunpoint outside Hong Kong kindergarten

Police source says no one was injured in the incident

PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 May, 2017, 3:32pm
UPDATED : Monday, 22 May, 2017, 10:59pm

A knife-wielding man in Hong Kong was arrested at gunpoint by police outside a kindergarten in Sau Mau Ping on Monday.

At about 12.15pm, officers were called by a staff member to Shun Tin Rhenish Nursery on the ground floor of Tin Wan House in Shun Tin Estate off Shun On Road.

“Police were told that a man was holding a knife, standing outside the kindergarten and injuring his own hand,” a spokesman said.

Headmistress Lee So-ching said there were about 120 children and staff members inside the kindergarten at the time. Lee said the man rang the door bell of the locked kindergarten. A teacher spotted him barefoot outside.

“The man did not enter or make any attempt to break into the kindergarten, and he walked away without talking to anyone,” Lee said.

But the 33-year-old man was later seen again wandering near the entrance of the preschool.

The headmistress was informed and she called police while instructing staff members to close and lock all the doors and windows as a safety precaution.

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“Children in the kindergarten were safe and not affected because they were having lunch in classrooms at the time of the incident,” Lee said.

The authorities arrived to find the man, a technician living in the same building as the preschool, still at the location.

“The man was emotionally unstable and wielding a knife at the scene. Two officers drew their guns and issued a verbal warning to him,” the spokesman added.

Police subdued the man after he dropped the 22cm-long knife and he was arrested on suspicion of possessing an offensive weapon.

A police source said that no one was injured in the incident.

In the stand-off, the man had also “pointed the blade to his neck”.

According to the source, the man’s two-year-old son is a former pupil of the preschool and the boy had been taken by his mother to the mainland last month.

Initial investigations showed the man did not have a history of mental illness, the source said. Police were investigating whether he had suffered a mental breakdown after his wife and son left him.

On Monday evening, the suspect was being held for questioning and had not been charged.