Five killed in China village 'mass shooting'

BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese villager armed with a double-barreled hunting gun killed four people, including two police, in northern Hebei province on Tuesday, state media said, a rare outbreak of gun violence in a country where firearms are tightly controlled.

Liu Shuangrui went on the rampage in Xishibao village in Suning county, two hours south of Beijing, killing two fellow villagers and wounding three, official news agency Xinhua said, citing the police. State television called it a “mass shooting”.

Liu then shot dead two police officers and wounded two, Xinhua added.

Liu was trapped in his house and found dead when police broke in around dawn, it said, adding the cause of his death was not yet known.

State television had said Liu had been shot.

Media carried pictures of a news release from the government which said the 55-year-old Liu was bipolar.

Gun violence is unusual in China as private gun ownership is restricted.

In December, an employee of China’s central bank shot and killed two colleagues at the branch he was working at in the northeastern province of Liaoning.

(This story corrects the death toll in the lead)

Reporting by Michael Martina and Ben Blanchard; Editing by Nick Macfie