Internet

Online forums report about a bank shooting in Shenyang

JDM070411bank1s.jpg
The scene of the shooting.
On 7 April, a man walked into a bank in Shenyang to withdraw some cash to take a client to dinner. When he turned to leave, he was shot by armored car guards who had come for their daily pickup.

There was no immediate reaction in the print media. However, rumors about the shooting were circulating online that same evening. From a Baidu forum thread:

21:53: I heard that this evening in Sujiatun there was a bank shooting. What's going on, who knows?

22:10: A person went to the bank to withdraw money
At the same time, Financial Protection came and sealed the door
Then the person who withdrew money got tough and wanted to leave
They didn't let him, the person who withdrew money rushed on
Financial Protection fired, then he still charged, one shot and it was solved

That's basically what happened, but it would have to wait until a Southern Metropolis Daily report (see below) on the 10th for confirmation. Both Tianya and KDNet had posts up earlier; the first KDNet post covers the same ground as the Baidu comment above.

A report was shown on local TV the following day, but according to a second KDNet post, it was not entirely accurate:

At 10:30 or so this morning, this writer returned to the Sujiatun branch of the China Construction Bank. There were still many people clustered in front of the bank entrance, as well as Liaoning TV reporters. Last night at 9:30, the Liaoning TV New Nothern "In Progress" program reported on this accident and said that the man was shot to death during a robbery (because that was what they received from the authorities), but the witnesses at the scene told the reporters, one after another, what they had seen and heard: "He was over 30, and drove to the bank to get money. He parked in front of the door and entered. The security car arrived later." "How could it be a robbery? What kind of person would rob with both hands empty, and his car engine turned off?" "The security car came after, at the entrance he blocked their entry, so they argued a few words with him, then the guy with the gun aimed it at his head. He said 'You'd shoot and kill me?' Then the gun sounded." "This bank is too frightening. Who'll come back to deposit money here now?"

The observers are all awaiting the truth of the matter.

Other forum posts reported that "In Progress" ruled out the possibility of a robbery attempt.

The facts eventually came out in this report on Tuesday:

Drawing and firing without a word? Shenyang armored car guard shoots and kills bank customer who argued with him

Tan Renwei / SMD

At 10:59 pm, 8 April, a post appeared on Tianya's Shenyang forum claiming that at around 5pm on 7 April, inside a bank on Fengyang Road in Sujiatun District, a customer who had gone to withdraw money was shot in the head by a guard from the Financial Protection Center and died at the scene. The following day a post appeared on KDNet containing the same information, and further claimed that the local television had run a report.

The KDNet post said, that day, "at around 5pm, a middle-aged man went to the Sujiatun branch of the China Construction Bank to withdraw money. After he finished, he wanted to leave, but right at that time the security van had arrived and the guards from the van would not let the customers leave. That man said that he had urgent business and had to leave immediately, and got into an argument with a guard. The guard said, "Whether you believe me or not, if you try to leave again I'll kill you." The man didn't believe him and took a step forward. The guard immediately called outside, "Guard!" Then another guard came in, and without another word, drew his gun and shot the middle-aged man in the head. The middle-aged man died at the scene."

What was strange was that apart from these posts, there were no formal reports in print. Was the thing true or false?

There was indeed such a matter

A reporter for this paper gave a call to the Shenyang's Sujiatun District PSB to inquire about the situation. The PSB confirmed the matter, but "the case had already been turned over to the municipal bureau," so they could not accept an interview. The reporter was unable to contact anyone pertinent at the Shenyang municipal PSB. In addition, according to a Mr. Zhang, on duty at the Shenyang Financial Protection Center, the matter did indeed occur, and the two guards involved had been taken into custody.

At 9:30pm on the 8th, Liaoning TV's New Northern "In Progress" program reported on this accident, netizens claimed. The program played the bank's security camera tape: the two sides did not come into physical contact, and from the image one could only see the deceased taking to a guard, after which another guard came in and immediately killed the person.

The reporter confirmed with the deceased's family that his name was Ji Cheng, 32 years old this year. His family lives in the workers' village of Sujiatun; he was foreman of a small crew. The deceased's wife, Zhang Yong, said that they had two daughters, aged 4 and 6. It was five hours after it happened that Zhang Yong received a call from a friend, and she hurried to the Jiefang police station, which handled the matter. The police who met her there told her, "Your spouse is gone. Go home and wait for a letter."

Bullet to the face

In the afternoon of 7 April, Ji Cheng gave Zhang Yong a phone call telling her that a developer had some work and he needed to hurry to the bank to withdraw some money to take someone to dinner. Ji Cheng promised her he'd be home before 8. After hanging up, Ji Cheng and his friend from work, Li Zhenghua, went to the ATM at the Sujiatun branch of China Construction Bank to withdraw money. He withdrew 1500 yuan, and gave 1000 to Li Zhenghua (Li said that this was money Ji Cheng owed him).

What happened after that Zhang Yong learned from witnesses she found at the scene. After withdrawing money, Ji Cheng hurried toward the exit with Li Zhenghua. Suddenly a guard shouted, "Don't leave!" Ji Cheng did know what was happening. He explained, I'm in a hurry. The guard said, "Think you're tough? Take another step and I'll shoot you!" That guard had no gun on his person, so Ji Cheng did not pay him any mind. He said, "I'll take another step and see what you'll do!" He took hold of Li Zhenghua and walked toward the exit. Seeing that he would not be dissuaded, the guard shouted outside, "Guard!" Then another guard charged in and shot Ji Cheng.

Ji Cheng took the bullet in his face and fell to the ground. There were three other people - a man and two women - in the room, and their bodies were splattered with blood.

According to Ji Cheng's sister-in-law Yan Danmei, she closely inspected the body afterward. The bullet had entered near the left side of Ji Cheng's nose and exited through his right temple. The hole was about the size of a one-yuan coin.

Not a robbery

Yesterday at 9:40am, Zhang Yong, who had not seen her husband's body, and other family members angrily arrived at the entrance to the bank where they lit incense and candles for a memorial. Later, she used a megaphone to annouce to passers-by what had happened to her husband. The crowd swiftly grew to more than one thousand people.

The police quickly came out to maintain order, and they put up police tape. Zhang Yong and her family finally met with the deputy director of the Sujiatun PSB branch. Zhang Yong relayed the position of the director: he first said that this was not a robbery case, and then said he couldn't say for sure.

Zhang Yong said that she requested to view the bank's security tape but the police did not grant her request, saying that until the investigation concluded she had no right to view it.

The Shenyang Financial Protection Center is a privately-owned enterprise subordinate to the Shenyang Municipal PSB. It has 2800 employees, more than 200 security cars, and has been named one of "the country's 10 best security companies."

In 2003, during Shenyang's "1-18" bomb bank robbery that shocked the nation, a Financial Protection Center guard, Liu Wei, died. In December of last year the culprit was put to death. According to Vision magazine, following that case all of Financial Protection Center's guards took training with live ammunition.

Financial Protection Center employees had posted online that the job of a guard is very difficult, income is less than 1000 yuan a month, and there is a lot of work stress. And since there has been a bank robbery in Shenyang, the guards are all on high-alert.


A second report by Huang Huan from China.com says that the case is being called intentional homicide. An excerpt:

For the past two days, Ji Cheng's brother-in-law Liu has been accompanying Ji Cheng's wife Zhang Yong to handle things. According to him, Ji Cheng's mother passed away just 29 days ago, and now with Ji Cheng's unfortunate death, his father is in an unstable emotional state and is basically paralyzed. "No one in the family can sleep. Everyone is unstable," Liu said.

Liu said that today the mayor of Sujiatun District visited the family. The mayor expressed the government's concern for this case, which had been given a preliminary designation of intentional homicide; the guard who fired the shot has been arrested.

"We still need to refute rumors; there are people saying that my brother was a robber. The entire scene was recorded. We need to clear the air. We can't have our family ashamed to lift our heads," Liu said.

Information from an employee of the Financial Protection Center said that the Shenyang Municipal PSB is investigating this matter. The center is cooperating with the investigation, and it will announce the results upon conclusion. This website called the Shenyang PSB twice this afternoon with no answer.

In addition, according to Ji Cheng's younger sister, the family was able to see the body of the deceased after repeated requests. "The bullet struck right in the face," she said. The PSB performed an autopsy today but the results are not yet in.

"We currently wonder whether Er Ge [the deceased] was killed by that shot, since after Er Ge was shot, people at the scene dialed 120, but the ambulance took four hours to arrive." Ji Cheng's sister said that she learned this from employees at the bank where the incident took place.

To this, the disciplinary committee of the Shenyang Municipal Emergency Center said that it was unaware of this matter and required further confirmation.

Photos are available from the 9166 forum thread.

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There are currently 10 Comments for Online forums report about a bank shooting in Shenyang.

Comments on Online forums report about a bank shooting in Shenyang

Whilst I do agree that it is regretful that the guard opened fire and killed this man, I do think some aspects of the story are ignored in some reports of the incident.

My understanding is the guards were picking up money from the bank and at moments like this, the security around the bank and the van is intensely guarded and any disturbance could result in serious consequences, so the wise thing for anyone on the spot to do is co-operate as much as they can. The guard who made the shot may well have over-reacted but you should know, had it been a real robbery, he'd be regretting not having fired early enough.

From some of the posts on the forum you gave, that customer was acting like a jerk and challenging the guards, so he sort of had it coming. Although noone wants to see people getting killed like this, he was not purely innocent himself, which seems to be the story some of the reports were trying to say. Always blame the authority and you can't go wrong, eh?

I felt ashamed while reading some of the posts saying that the victim is a jerk and deserves the bullet.

It's fine to have sympathy for the guards, but none of that comes close to justifying lethal force as a first resort. The training of the guards and their procedures are probably more at fault than the individual or the guard, but who do you think will get scapegoated here? Certainly not a good, upstanding company...

Gale, you are heartless. You make me feel ashamed for you.
Enough said about that one...

Gale: "The guard who made the shot may well have over-reacted" - you don't say. Next time I walk past the armed guards at my local construction bank, I am going to be a whole less cheeky than I usually am.

Comment by Gale: "Although noone wants to see people getting killed like this, he was not purely innocent himself..."

Oh my, "Not purely innocent"! Even if the deceased was a jerk and argued with the SG, is he "guilty" to be shot dead?

what kind of arguement was that...

Only a fool would challenge or try to provoke someone holding live ammunition. Of course it's shocking and tragic but Gale's point is valid in the sense that the blame may not be all on one side and I can easily imagine a situation where someone feels they are too important to be detained for even two minutes and tries to force his way out. I am not saying that is what happened, I am saying it could be that it's not all one way traffic and an "on edge" guard could mistake a situation which is the reason why you do not mess around in these tense situations.

The person he was provoking/arguing with was not carrying a gun. Thus he was likely not thinking that the guard would do any more than simply fight him in a nasty way.

Personally, I'm surprised that the guards didn't seem to explain to the patrons of the bank what they were doing and why no one could leave. (Correct me if I'm wrong -- I haven't finished going through the linked pages.)

"From some of the posts on the forum you gave, that customer was acting like a jerk and challenging the guards, so he sort of had it coming."

Man, Gale - can't believe what I just read.
Life is valuable, very valuable!
There are plenty of ways to deal with confrontation and even stopping criminals without having to use deadly force.
I worked a similar job like that before and always was armed, and I know it can be stressful. The pay and the stress do not justify the act of killing an innocent person. In a lot of countries, the man who pulled the trigger would be in jail for some time and the security company he worked for would be held highly accountable and no longer securing anything but the little money they had left after paying the family a considerable sum of money. Even the large amount of compensation his family might get, will never make up for what has happened. His children and his wife will never feel his hug or hear his voice again. This is definitely a loss and a tragic story. Such a young man who was a husband to his wife and father of two children. Worked a legitimate job too. My condolences to the surviving family, sorry your loved one had to die such an unfair death.

It's a insane world over here indeed.
Go for ATM's I say.

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