BEIJING -- Beijing police confirmed on Wednesday that a university law professor was stabbed to death by a student in a classroom.
Professor Cheng Chunming was murdered Tuesday night at the China University of Political Science and Law (CUPL)in the city's Changping District.
A CUPL spokeswoman admitted that the killer was a student from the university's Political Science and Public Management School.
"The student, surnamed Fu, burst into the classroom, where Professor Cheng was about to begin his class, and attacked him," said spokeswoman Liu Changmin.
She said Fu, aged 22, was a forth-year student in the school.
He had been detained by police who said he used his own mobile phone to surrender himself after the killing.
"The motivation for the killing is still under investigation. The school has verified that 19 students need psychological counseling after the incident," Liu said.
The Beijing Youth Daily quoted witnesses as saying that the 43-year-old professor was talking with students when the killer walked in with a kitchen knife and then cut Cheng twice on the right side of his neck.
The Changping Chinese Medical Hospital said Cheng had both his carotid and cervical vertebra broken. He died of excessive blood loss before reaching the emergency room.
Yang Chenxing, a second-year student in the university, said she saw four to five students trying to help the injured teacher lie down on a chair as she was passing by the classroom.
"I was startled but not very scared by the scene. The school is offering free psychological counseling. I don't think I need it," she said.
She said Cheng was a popular professor among students. Many sent bouquets to the classroom in memory of their teacher. The university released a bulletin Wednesday on its website mourning Cheng.
A teacher from the university, named Ma Ai, left a message on the school's website, calling on students to keep faith.
"It was a sleepless night, but please don't lose faith in the laws, the school and yourself. Let's give each other strength, and help those who were hurt," the teacher wrote.
Cheng obtained his doctoral degree from the Law School of the Montepellier 1 University on Public Law and Political Science in France. He started his teaching career at the CUPL in 2000.
The Ministry of Education declined to comment on this specific murder case at CUPL. But an official from the ministry's basic education department, said at a regular news conference on Tuesday that all government departments as well as social and educational employees should work together to guarantee the security of teachers.
Wang Dinghua made the remark in regards to two other attacks on teachers which happened this month in Shanxi and Zhejiang provinces.
In one case, a 16-year-old middle school student killed his teacher, Hao Xudong, 23, with a knife. In the other case, a 16-year-old student strangled his teacher to death.
Wang said that the attacks on the teachers reflected a lack of moral education and psychological counseling.