Police officers in southeast China’s Jiangxi province arrested a 48-year-old man on Wednesday on suspicion of perpetrating a fatal stabbing at a private kindergarten in Jiangxi’s Anfu county that day that killed three people and injured six others, China’s state-run Global Times reported.
The newspaper cited an original report by China’s official state press agency, Xinhua, confirming on August 3 that authorities had arrested a suspect in the kindergarten stabbing. Police officers said the suspect, surnamed Liu, is a local Anfu county resident.
A man, now believed to be Liu, “stormed” a private kindergarten in Anfu county at approximately 10:00 am local time on August 3 and stabbed both teachers and toddlers, Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.
Authorities have so far not made public the names or ages of the stabbing incident’s victims.
“[I]t can be confirmed that at least one child was injured in the attack,” the Global Times reported on August 3.
“In addition, information circulating on Sina Weibo [China’s version of Twitter], which has not yet been confirmed by authorities, shows that the assailant used a knife to stab several children in the kindergarten, almost all under the age of six, and some children are still in the hospital for treatment,” according to the state-run newspaper.
“In a video of the scene shared by state-run Beijing Daily, a police officer can be seen carrying a tiny child in his arms to an ambulance,” AFP relayed.
“Mass violent crime is rare in China, which strictly prohibits citizens from owning firearms, but there has been a spate of mass stabbings in recent years,” the news agency observed on Wednesday.
“Fatal attacks specifically targeting kindergarten and school students have occurred nationwide, carried out by people reportedly wishing to wreak revenge on society or because of grievances with colleagues,” AFP noted.
An approximately 50-year-old attacker wielding a knife stabbed teachers and students at a primary school in Cangwu County in southern China’s Guangxi region in June 2020.
The local government said in a statement at the time that “37 students suffered mild injuries and two adults suffered more severe injuries. All of them were sent to a hospital for treatment, and none of their lives are in danger.”
Authorities later identified the perpetrator as the school’s security guard and sentenced him to death for intention to commit homicide, though all of his stabbing victims survived the incident.
“A knife-wielding man killed two people and wounded two others at a primary school in central Hunan province in April last year ,” AFP recalled in June 2020 when reporting on the Cangwu County school stabbing.
“In April 2018, a man killed nine middle school students as they were returning home, in one of the deadliest knife attacks seen in China in recent years,” the news agency further recalled.