Shanghai: 4 stabbed at hospital by assailant, police open fire
A knife-wielding attacker wounded four people at a Shanghai hospital on Saturday, marking the second recorded stabbing incident since the COVID-19 lockdown of the economic hub was lifted in early June. On Saturday, at 11.30 am local time (0430 BST), the Huangpu District Police posted on social media that they had received emergency reports of a stabbing at the Ruijin Hospital.
- Mass violent crime is uncommon in China, where citizens are strictly prohibited from owning weapons.
- In recent years, however, a series of fatal knife attacks on kindergarten and elementary school students have occurred across the country, allegedly carried out by people seeking vengeance on society.
- On Monday, a man was apprehended after he went on a stabbing spree in the downtown Jingan district.
"The police quickly arrived on the scene and discovered a man holding a group of people hostage with a knife on the hospital's seventh floor," the local police said. "When the suspect intended to injure the hostages and punish the police, the police decisively fired a shot to injure and subdue him," it added. As per the police, the incident is under investigation.
Social media videos captured the chaos as people rushed through turnstiles to leave the hospital and doctors rushed out with their patients, some of whom were in wheelchairs and one of whom was on a mobile bed. One video showed a trail of blood running down a flight of marble stairs. According to the police, the injured are out of danger.
"It's very shocking," a Shanghai resident who arrived for a check-up shortly after the hospital was closed reportedly stated. "This is very despairing. What has happened to this society? " For many Chinese people, hospitals are reportedly a hotbed of conflict because of issues like touts selling appointment tickets illegally, long queues to see doctors, and corruption, which raises the cost of medical care.
In China, reports of patients attacking healthcare professionals are also common, but such attacks inside hospitals remain rare. A police officer reportedly stated that Ruijin Hospital has been sealed off and all appointments have been canceled. According to reports, the attacker's motive still remains unclear.