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One of China's most wanted men, suspected of killing nine in eight years, was shot dead by Chongqing police early Tuesday morning, allowing the country let out a collective sigh of relief.
Zhou Kehua, a 42-year-old "Class-A" wanted suspect who committed his latest homicide on Sunday, shooting a police officer to death, was killed by police, said a CCTV morning news report.
Chongqing Morning News reported that Zhou was killed in a leather factory near Tongjiaqiao village in Shapingba district of Chongqing at about 6:50 am. The paper said plainclothes police discovered Zhou early Tuesday morning and tailed him. After Zhou noticed, the two sides exchanged gunfire. Zhou was killed, and some policemen were slightly injured.
Police said that Zhou's DNA information, provided by police in Jiangsu Province, and his physical description, provided by police in Changsha, Hunan Province, laid a "solid foundation" for the operation, according to the Xinhua News Agency.
Police also confirmed that the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau was praised and honored by China's Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu immediately after the operation.
Zhou, described as "ruthless and highly dangerous" by China's authorities, became infamous for robbing people withdrawing money from banks and repeatedly dodging police manhunts. He killed one woman and injured two others outside a bank in Shapingba district last Friday.
Following his crimes last week, Chongqing police dispatched thousands for a citywide hunt in the city and promised a reward of 500,000 yuan ($78,000) to anyone who comes up with tips leading to his capture, dead or alive. Crews of criminal experts from Hunan and Jiangsu also came to Chongqing to assist in the hunt.
Since 2004, Zhou Kehua is suspected of being involved in a series of robberies and shootings (see details). He had been found in the two provinces in the past, but fled. The total volume of rewards offered across the nation for Zhou's capture surpassed 5 million yuan, according to police.
Zhou Kehua's body is carried away by police on Tongjiaqiao street, Shapingba district of Chongqing municipality, Aug 14, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]