Suspect in asylum attack in China dies after accident

BEIJING– A 48-year-old Chinese man suspected of killing four people in an attack on a private asylum in southern China earlier this week died of injuries sustained in an accident while on the run, police said.

The man, Liu Xiaohui, carried out the suspected knife attack Wednesday morning in an asylum in Jiangxi province, killing two people on the spot. Two others later died from injuries sustained in the hospital. Several other people were injured.

Liu fled and went into hiding, authorities said. While he was on the run Wednesday night, he hid in a culvert near a freeway. Upon hearing the search team approaching, Liu escaped from his hiding place, climbed over a fence and was hit by a vehicle while attempting to cross the highway, according to a police statement released Friday.

Liu was sent to hospital for treatment but died Thursday from his injuries, police said.

China has improved school safety following a series of deadly attacks in recent years largely attributed to people with grudges against society or with mental illness.

China does not allow private possession of weapons, so most of these attacks are carried out with knives, homemade explosives, or gasoline bombs.

About 100 children and adults have been killed and hundreds injured over the past decade in apparently uncoordinated “lone wolf” attacks where the reason was not clear. The mostly male assailants were killed, ended their lives or were tried and executed.

Acts of violence against Chinese youth resonate particularly strongly due to the country’s chronically low birth rate, partly due to decades of population control policies.