Two people were hacked to death and another nine were injured by a man wielding a meat cleaver inside a Walmart store in China’s southern manufacturing hub of Shenzhen, police in the city’s Bao’an district said on Monday.
A 30-year-old unemployed man, identified only by his surname Jiang, was detained as a suspect in the attack, which took place about 9pm on Sunday, police said in an online statement. The motive for the violence was not immediately clear.
The nine people injured are receiving treatment for their injuries, the statement said.
According to his family, Jiang hails from the southwestern municipality of Chongqing and became a migrant worker in 2014. The family posted a notice inquiring about his whereabouts in September 2015 after he lost contact with them.
In the notice, the family claimed Jiang has a mental illness.
Firearms are largely unobtainable for ordinary Chinese and such attacks are more often carried out with knives or home-made explosives.
Sales of knives have faced stricter regulations following high-profile attacks, some of which have targeted children in or near kindergartens and elementary schools.
Perpetrators of most past attacks have been described as mentally ill or bearing grudges against society, with social dislocation and a lack of resources for diagnosing and treating such conditions contributing to the problem, experts have said.
In one of the most horrific recent attacks, eight people were killed when a 22-year-old man detonated a home-made bomb at the front gate of a kindergarten in eastern China.
Only the suspect’s surname, Xu, was released and no motive was provided.
Walmart, headquartered in Arkansas in the US, has been operating in China for more than 20 years.
It had 439 stores in 189 Chinese cities at the end of last year. – SCMP