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Sixth officer dies after stabbing spree
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The suspect Yang Jia. [Photo: cnsphoto]

Another police officer died late last night from stab wounds, becoming the sixth to die from a frenzied attack at the Zhabei District Public Security Bureau office building yesterday morning in Shanghai.

According to Shanghai No. 10 People's Hospital, the officer who was stabbed in the stomach and face was pronounced dead at 11 pm last night. The hospital declined to provide the victim's personal information.

A man armed with a knife stormed into the building after stabbing a security guard, who tried to stop him from setting fire to beer bottles. He then stabbed nine police officers, five of whom were confirmed dead yesterday afternoon.

The three other officers and the security guard are now in stable condition.

The Beijing Times reported that the assailant has been identified as Yang Jia, 28, who is unemployed and a native of Beijing. The security bureau has only identified the attacker as Yang.

The motive for the stabbing spree remains unclear but a previous notice by the Shanghai Public Security Bureau said it was a revenge attack. Yang was held and questioned by officers at the Zhabei bureau in October for allegedly stealing bicycles, the bureau said.

The bureau said Yang also carried a hammer, a dust mask and a bottle of spray along with the knife. He lit eight beer bottles on fire outside the bureau's office. After entering the building, the man allegedly attacked four police officers in either the lobby or an office on the first floor. He then broke into several other rooms on the 10th, 11th and 21st floors and stabbed the other five officers. Yang was apprehended on the 21st floor by riot police, the bureau said.

At 6 pm yesterday, the Politics Department of the Ministry of the Public Security sent a message of condolences to the Shanghai police authority and the victims' families.

According to a report by Beijing Times, Yang's parents divorced 14 years ago and the man has been living with his mother, an employee of a state enterprise in Beijing.

When informed of the alleged attack by his son, the man said he did not believe it and that his son had always been well behaved. "I felt extremely sorry, but if Yang Jia did commit this crime, he must be punished by law,'' the father told the newspaper. "The biggest wish for me now is to see him.''

His father told the newspaper that Yang was unsocial and eccentric, but well-behaved, as a boy. He also admitted that the two had little contact with one another since the divorce.

"We had little communication and seldom saw each other since I divorced his mother in 1994," the report quoted the father as saying. "Every time he collected child support payments, we would have a short talk, but he would never tell me his innermost feelings.''

"His only hobby was reading," the father told the newspaper. "Every year I bought books for him on his birthday. He loved to go to the book store.''

According to his father, Yang was not a good student. After graduation from a junior high school, the boy signed up for a marketing course at a private vocational school. However, he could not find a job after leaving school.

(Shanghai Daily July 2, 2008)

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