Police Chief Accused in Public Shooting of Woman

May 4, 2010 Updated: May 8, 2010

On April 23, Vice Police Chief Zhang Lihua allegedly shot and killed a woman in broad daylight. Zhang has bad reputation in the area. There has been a public outcry locally, but posts on major mainland websites have been deleted.

The attack occurred in central China’s city of Huaihua in Hunan Province at 3:50 in the afternoon. Witnesses reported that a green taxi was closely following a black sedan which had stopped in front of the China Mobile building. A woman around 30 years old came out of the black sedan then immediately got back into the car. At the same time, a middle-aged male got out of the taxi and shot the woman in the head. The male fled the scene. The woman was taken by bystanders to the hospitaL but died soon afterward.

Five days after incident, relatives of the victim protested near the city center with banners: “Police shot and killed our daughter. … Where is justice?” and “We ask the government to severely punish the criminal who killed an innocent person.” As crowds gathered to watch, the road became blocked.

When a reporter called neighboring Yuanling County South Bank Police Station, police admitted that their Vice Chief Zhang Lihua was the gunman and has been arrested. Later in the interview, the police said, “The brass has not held a press conference; most just know that Zhang Lihua is under arrest, other details on the situation are not clear.”

It is not yet known what the relationship is between the gunman and the victim, and the authorities have not released any details of the victim’s identity. Blogger FSJ posted a thread on the Chinese forum TianYa claiming that Zhang’s motive was to rob the 280,000 yuan that the victim had just taken from the bank. Another source said, Zhang lost a lot of money in gambling, and then generated the idea of armed robbery and murder for money.

Three Shots Fired

The case caused a very negative social impact in Yuanling County and in Huaihua. A resident familiar with the situation spoke with The Epoch Times, “How could this kind of trash become a chief of police! Zhang Lihua is 38 years old and a well-known gambler. He always bums around, eating, drinking, and playing. He is a low-life. He got into the police department through insider connections. On the day of the crime, he fired three shots at the victim!”

Another Yuanling resident said, “Gambling is a trend in the Yuanling government sector, so a murder case is inevitable. The Hunan Police department was afraid and kept delaying the press conference.” Another Yuanling resident said, “If Zhang Lihua has been arrested, quite a few other police will go down as well.”

Another blogger from Huaihua wrote, “I’m also from Yuanling, and I know this man personally. … The police protect illegal gambling houses, use their position for personal gain, open bath houses, engage in usury, act like brothers with the underworld, have second wives, and oppress the residents. There isn’t one police who wouldn’t use his position for personal gain and very few are qualified! Everybody in Yuanling knows this!”

Read the original Chinese article