A suspected killer in China who had supporters on social media rooting for his escape has died after a week on the run

A suspected killer in China who had supporters on social media rooting for his escape has died after a week on the run
·2 min read
Police officers patrol in southeast China's Fujian Province
Police officers patrol in southeast China's Fujian Province Jiang Kehong/Xinhua via Getty Images
  • A 55-year-old man in China has died by suicide after spending a week on the run from police.

  • The man was accused of killing two neighbors in an attack in China's southern Fujian province.

  • People on social media rallied around the man after he went on the run, rooting for him to escape.

A 55-year-old villager in China's southern Fujian province accused of killing his neighbors has died by apparent suicide after a week on the run during which social media users rallied around him and hoped he would escape.

Police in the city of Putian said in a statement on Monday that Ou Jinzhong tried to kill himself while resisting arrest, according to a CNN translation.

Ou was taken to a hospital but died despite rescue efforts, police said.

He was accused of killing two of his neighbors and injuring several others in an attack earlier this month in a seaside village in Putian.

While he spent a week on the run from the police, people on social media had said they hoped he wouldn't get caught and pieced together an unofficial theory of what happened the day of the killings.

According to social media posts seen by CNN, social media users believed that Ou and his family did not have a home, and were prevented from building a house because of a land dispute with neighbors, despite seeking help from police, local officials, the media, and the local government.

Many blamed China's local governance and bureaucratic system for allowing Ou's housing situation to be left unresolved.

The local government has not confirmed the story pieced together by social media sleuths.

Police identified the victims of Ou's attack as a 78-year-old man and his daughter-in-law. The man's wife, 34-year-old grandson, and 9-year-old great-grandson were injured in the attack.

Officials had issued rewards for Ou's whereabouts before his death, South China Morning Post reported.

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