Friday, April 30, 2010

3 Days, 3 Attacks

I have pointed out that in China (and Japan), due to their strict firearms laws, such countries tend to manifest their "copycat school violence" in terms of "stabbing" series. Will this current stabbing spree spread to Japan or other Asian nations?

April 2010 appears to be turning into a prime example. The media has referred to these, very openly, as "copycats." Of course, the underlying theme of these events ending in suicides or parasuicidal incidents is no surprise for readers here.

Here's is a summary of the latest news:

Five incidents in a little over a month and three attacks in three days have left at least 9 children dead in China, all by knife-wielding older males.

1) Wang Yonglai

Friday, April 30, 2010

This attack occurred in the small village of Shangzhuang, near the city of Weifang in the northern province of Shandong. Just before eight o'clock in the morning, April 30, 2010, a man named as Wang Yonglai, a local farmer, age unknown, broke through the side door of the local pre-school, according to Xinhua, the government news agency.

Armed with a hammer and carrying a can of petrol, he struck a teacher and then lashed out at five children before he picked two up, doused himself with petrol and set himself on fire. Teachers at the school managed to grab the children from him, but Wang was reported to have died. The five victims are said to be in stable condition in the local hospital and none have life-threatening injuries.

2) Xu Yuyuan, 47

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Another attack involved a knife-wielding man stabbed 29 children at a kindergarten on Thursday in Taixing of East China's Jiangsu province. Five of the children are in critical condition and the rest are stable. No deaths had been reported as of Thursday night, said Sun Yun, deputy mayor of Taixing. Two teachers and one security guard were also injured after the 9:40 am attack. Witnesses report that he taunted onlookers, daring them to stop him as he carried out his rampage.

An initial police investigation said the suspect, 47-year-old Xu Yuyuan, was an unemployed local resident who had been fired from a local insurance company in 2001.

3) Chen Kangbing, 33

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A mentally ill teacher on sick leave for the past four years broke into a school and wounded 18 students and a teacher in southern China’s Leizhou city in Guangdong province on April 28. The man in Wednesday's attack managed to slip into the school with a group of visiting teachers, Xinhua reported. Chen Kangbing,33, had been a teacher himself. Xinhua said he suffered from mental illness and had been on sick leave since February 2006.

4) Yang Jiaqin, 40

Monday, April 12, 2010

An attack occurred on April 12, 2010, when a man hacked to death a second grader and an elderly woman with a meat cleaver, near a school in southern Guangxi, and wounded five other people, including students. Yang Jiaqin, 40, chased his victims through Xizhen village of the southern Guangxi region not long after classes ended Monday afternoon. A 7-year-old girl and the 81-year-old woman later died.

5) Zheng Minsheng, 42

Tuesday, March 23, 2010; executed, Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Chen Kangbing attack came the same day a man was executed for stabbing eight children to death outside their elementary school last month in the southeastern city of Nanping. The attack on March 23, 2010, at around 7:20 am local time, shocked China because eight children died and the assailant had no known history of mental illness. At his trial, Zheng Minsheng, 42, said he killed because he had been upset after being jilted by a woman and treated badly by her wealthy family. He was executed by firing squad on Wednesday, April 28, just a little over a month after his crime.

2004 Attacks

These attacks have officials looking into a similar wave of knife-related violence on children that occurred in 2004. After the 2004 attack at a school in Beijing that left nine students dead, the central government ordered tighter school security nationwide. Regulations that took effect in 2006 require schools to register or inspect visitors and keep out people who have no reason to come inside.

The list of 2004 stabbings in China (which eventually spread to Japan) may be found by clicking here.

There were also stabbings in 2008, associated with the Autumn Festivals in China and Japan (see here).

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