Three Teens Kill Shop Owner Over Fifty-Cent French Fries

April 2, 2019 Updated: September 6, 2019

Three teenagers have confessed to killing a female shop owner because they couldn’t pay $0.50 for an order of french fries, according to multiple mainland Chinese news sources.

Hu, 48, was allegedly suffocated to death by three teenagers on March 27 at her small restaurant in Sichuan Province, China. Her body was found by her husband and the police the following day.

The teenagers were later apprehended by local police. The eldest is a girl named Zhang, a 15-year-old boy named Huang, and the youngest is a boy named Zhan.

The case is under investigation. A lawsuit has not yet been filed.

Hu’s death has put her family in a dire situation, as her husband is unable to work due to health problems.

The Shop

Hu opened the store just over 60 feet away from the entrance to a local school. Hu lived away from her house to operate the shop, and only returned home on the weekends.

A local villager, named Tian, said that he spoke with Hu on the evening of March 27, according to Beijing Youth Daily. Tian said he talked to Hu at about 11:20 p.m., and asked why she hadn’t closed the shop. Hu said there were still three teenagers eating at her shop.

According to the police report, the three teenagers knew that they had no money to eat. When they attempted to leave and refused to pay $0.50 for their order of french fries, a fight broke out between them and Hu, according to Beijing Youth Daily.

Three Teenagers Attack

The teenagers then reportedly decided to rob Hu, and a struggle followed. Hu was suffocated to death, and the bones in her hands were broken. The three allegedly ransacked the shop.

Later, a driver named Zhao received a call from the three suspects. He drove them to another city over 50 miles away.

On the morning of March 28, Hu’s husband, Che, tried to call her but her phone was off. He wanted to ask his wife if she could help him with errands that day.

Che then contacted the police and they went to the shop together. When they got there at around 9 a.m., they pried the door open. The shop was a mess, with products scattered everywhere, and Hu was found on the ground, not far from the door.

Che was later told by both the police and the courts that his wife had been suffocated to death.

The three teenagers were found and arrested on March 29 at about 6 p.m. by local authorities.

Che has difficulty supporting his family due to pain in his hips and legs. He is unable to stand for extended periods of time. The family has two sons as well—one born in 1997, and the other a few years later. The eldest son has learning disabilities, and the other is still in school.