Skip to main content

China's 'most wanted' robber shot and killed by police

By Paul Armstrong, CNN
updated 11:09 PM EDT, Mon August 13, 2012
Mugshots released by Chinese authorities purportedly showing Zhou Kehua between 2005 and 2011.
Mugshots released by Chinese authorities purportedly showing Zhou Kehua between 2005 and 2011.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Zhou Kehua -- one of the country's most wanted criminals -- killed by police in Chongqing
  • Zhou accused of killing 10 people during a series of attempted robberies since 2004
  • 42 year old escaped similar manhunt in Nanjing in January after a man was shot during a robbery

Hong Kong (CNN) -- A fugitive gunman thought to be behind a string of armed robberies and murders in China dating back to 2004 has been shot and killed following a huge manhunt.

Zhou Kehua -- one of the country's most wanted criminals -- was killed by police in the southwestern city of Chongqing on Tuesday morning, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

Described as "ruthless and highly dangerous" by Chinese authorities, Zhou became infamous for robbing people while they were drawing money from banks and repeatedly dodging police manhunts.

Thousands of police and soldiers were drafted in over the weekend to search for the 42 year old after a woman was shot dead and two others injured on Friday outside a bank in Chongqing during an attempted robbery, Xinhua said.

Later that day, local police reported that a railway policeman was killed while in pursuit of a man believed to be Zhou -- his ninth victim in eight years following a series of robberies in Chongqing, Nanjing and Changsha.

Manhunt for China's most wanted

All his victims were shot in the head, according to media reports.

Zhou was eventually tracked down in Shapingba, a mountainous district on the outskirts of Chongqing, after police uncovered a cave on Monday that Zhou is believed to have stayed in. Inside were two cigarette cases, a T-shirt and human waste, China Daily reported.

China's Ministry of Public Security classified Zhou as a "class-A" suspect, with a total 5.4 million yuan (US$849,000) in rewards being offered for information leading to his capture.

A huge -- but ultimately fruitless -- search for Zhou was carried out in January this year after he allegedly shot and robbed a man who had just withdrawn 200,000 yuan ($31,700) from a bank in Nanjing before fleeing in a car.

Nanjing Public Security Bureau's Xuanwu district office told CNN at the time that tens of thousands of police officers took part in the manhunt. It also published two video clips online of the suspect escaping the scene.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
See CNN's complete coverage on China.
updated 10:30 PM EDT, Thu July 17, 2014
Some savvy individuals in China are claiming naming rights to valuable foreign brands. Here's how companies can combat them.
updated 5:11 AM EDT, Wed July 16, 2014
Is Xi Jinping a true reformist or merely a "dictator" in disguise? CNN's Beijing bureau chief Jaime FlorCruz dissects the leader's policies
updated 11:44 PM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
With a population of 1.3 billion, you'd think that there would be 11 people in China who are good enough to put up a fight on the football pitch.
updated 2:31 AM EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
26-year-old Ji Cheng is the first rider from China to compete for competitive cycling's highest honor.
updated 7:24 AM EDT, Mon July 7, 2014
China's richest man, Wang Jianlin, may not yet be a household name outside of China, but that could be about to change.
updated 12:14 AM EDT, Fri July 4, 2014
Hong Kong's narrow streets were once a dazzling gallery of neon, where banks and even bordellos plied their trade under sizzling tubular signs.
updated 7:57 PM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
When President Xi Jinping arrives in Seoul this week, the Chinese leader will have passed over North Korea in favor of its arch rival.
updated 7:59 AM EDT, Thu July 3, 2014
Three more officials have been given the chop as part of China's anti-corruption drive, including former aides to the retired security chief.
updated 9:05 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
As thousands of Hong Kongers prepare for an annual protest, voices in China's press warn pro-democracy activism is a bad idea.
updated 12:37 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Hong Kongers are demanding the right to directly elect their next leader, setting up a face-off with Beijing.
updated 2:56 AM EDT, Tue July 1, 2014
The push for democratic reform in Hong Kong is testing China's "one country, two systems" model.
updated 7:56 AM EDT, Mon June 30, 2014
Along a winding Chinese mountain road dotted with inns and restaurants is Jinan Orphanage, a place of refuge and site for troubled parents to dump unwanted children.
updated 4:36 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
CNN's Kristie Lu Stout invites Isaac Mao, Han Dongfang, and James Miles to discuss the rise of civil society in China and social media's crucial role.
updated 11:34 PM EDT, Wed June 25, 2014
Chen Guangbiao wants rich people to give more to charity and he'll do anything to get their attention, including buying lunch for poor New Yorkers.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Thu June 26, 2014
Architects are planning to build the future world's tallest towers in China. They're going to come in pretty colors.
updated 7:47 AM EDT, Mon June 23, 2014
Anna Coren visits Yulin's annual dog meat festival. Dogs are part of the daily diet here, with an estimated 10,000 dogs killed for the festival alone.
updated 2:38 AM EDT, Thu June 19, 2014
People know little about sex, but are having plenty of it. We take a look at the ramifications of a lack of sex education in China.
updated 4:12 AM EDT, Fri June 13, 2014
Hong Kongers have reacted angrily to a Chinese government white paper affirming Beijing's control over the territory.
The emphasis on national glory -- rather than purely personal achievement -- is key.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
A replica of the Effel Tower in Tianducheng, a luxury real estate development located in Hangzhou, east China's Zhejiang province.
What's the Eiffel Tower doing in China? Replica towns of the world's most famous monuments spring up all over China.
updated 8:13 PM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
Rapid development hasn't just boosted the economy -- it has opened up vast swathes of the country, says a man who has spent much of his life exploring it.
updated 2:54 AM EDT, Tue June 10, 2014
The World Cup is apparently making a lot of people "ill" in China.
ADVERTISEMENT