News >China

Onlooker dies in police error

2010-03-29 07:43

BEIJING - A curious bystander was accidentally shot dead by police as he watched officers confront a man armed with a machete in the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region.

Luo Qimin, 42, from Fengshan county, died from a fatal head wound after being hit by a bullet when officers fired warning shots into the air early Saturday, Xinhua News Agency reported, citing local police authorities.

The report said local police were confronting a machete-armed man and that Luo was watching the scene from the fifth floor of a nearby building.

Police had been called to the scene after brawls broke out near a local nightclub. Nine drunken young men, including one armed with a machete, attacked the officers when they arrived, the Fengshan county publicity department said in a statement.

In response, police fired warning shots into the air to stop the man armed with a machete and one of the bullets hit Luo, the statement said.

It said Luo was sent to a hospital for emergency treatment, but did not reveal how officers found him.

According to the statement, Luo was pronounced dead at the hospital on Saturday morning.

The nine young men, with one identified only by his surname Peng, have been summoned to the local police department.

"We will continue to investigate the case today," an unnamed official at the county's police department said on Sunday.

Calls to the government went unanswered on Sunday.

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