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The case of Jin Zhongyi, a tenant at Bajia Jiayuan

February 24, 2017

konjaku: while searching for information about Bajia Jiayuan, the housing development built for displaced Bajia villagers, I came across the following case. It is a matter not directly connected to the fate of Bajia village. It just happens that a man named Jin Zhongqi, a member of the Hui minority, was a tenant renting an apartment in the Bajia Jiayuan complex, when on 06-29-2016 he stabbed three people at a nearby bus-stop. There are two versions of the facts behind the case. In one version, Jin Zhongqi stabbed the three people as the result of a dispute after someone stepped on his foot on a public bus. In the other version, Jin Zhongqi was being followed and harassed by state security agents because he was a Weiquan (Rights protection) activist, and they provoked an altercation with him, which escalated into the stabbing incident.

The first source here is a standard mainland media account, which presents the first, official version of what happened. However, the reporter notes that the foot-stepping part of the story has yet to be confirmed. The second is from The Bejing News (Xin Jing Bao), which is considered more reformist and liberal. This article throws some doubt on the official version of events, and brings up the possibility that state security agents were involved. The third source is from the Epoch Times, based in New York, and therefore not subject to censorship. This article argues that the second version of the story is more likely to be true, and is being suppressed by the government.

The suspect in a murder case at a public bus stop is found dead. His remaining property can be used as compensation to the victims

the police issued this photo of the suspect Jin Zhongqi.

Photo: inside this small grove Jin Zhongqi hung himself and died


Jinghua Times reporter Han Tianbo, photographer

On 06-29-2016, Haidian district, at the Jingshuyuan commuter bus stop, a person stabbed three people with a knife and then ran away. Two died, the third was injured. The next day the Ministry of Public Security issued a class A order for his arrest. Yesterday afternoon the Haidian district police reported that on 07-03 the body of Jin Zhongqi was discovered in a grove by Yangtai Mountain in Haidian district. He had hung himself. Judging by the state of the body the police guessed he had died five or six days before, although a more exact time of death will be determined by further investigation.

The two fatalities were Li ——- (male, 27, from Heilongjiang province, company office worker) and Meng —- (male, 54, a resident of this city, unemployed). The injured person is a Mr Ye, (male, 31, a resident of this city, a recent college graduate). His wounds have stabilized, he is out of danger.

Yesterday at noon, this reporter went to Yangtai Mountain. A nearby restaurant worker said, At nightfall the day before yesterday, many police cars came.” That day was a Sunday, when Yangtai Mountain is crowded with tourists. Probably one of them discovered the body, which was in a secluded area along a path with trees on both sides. The body was considerably decomposed, and there were no personal effects left at the scene.

Residents in Bajia Jiayuan heaved a sigh of relief. They no longer had to fear the menace that this middle-aged man brought to their area. A Mr Li said, after the incident, “we heard the suspect ran away, and also that he lived in our residential community. Therefore we were all very afraid.” Not long before, the police had gone to the home of the suspect and were questioning neighbors about him.

Review of the incident

On 06-27, around 2 in the afternoon, at the Jingshuyuan bus stop in the Haidian district, a man got into an argument with another person, after which he pulled out a knife and stabbed three people. Two died, one was injured. After it became apparent that a crime had occurred, the man ran away.

Picture of the blood stained crime scene soon after spread on the web. Media accounts state that the dispute started when one man accused another of stepping on his foot, but this has not been confirmed by the police.

On 06-28, the police issued an award of 50,000 yuan for Jing Zhongqi.

Q: Since the suspect in this case has died, who will be responsible to pay the expenses incurred from treating the victims?

A: Jiang Jian, a lawyer from the Beijing Xiongzhi law office, said that the criminal code states that once the suspect has died, pursuing the deceased suspect’s responsibility for the crime is not possible. In this case, since the suspect is no longer alive, it become a civil responsibility. There are all the medical costs involved in treating victims, including compensation for missing work. For the deceased victims, there are funeral expenses. These expenses can come from the estate of the suspect, if any such funds exist. If not, the court can order the distribution of benefits in its final ruling on the case.

Jinghua Times reporters Han Tianbo, Chang Xin


konjaku: the second source:

At Jin Zhongqi’s residence on the 30th floor, yesterday at a certain residential community in Haidian district.


Why did Jin Zhongqi attack persons with a knife? According to an eyewitness, while riding a commuter bus, there was a dispute that someone stepped on his foot. With a knife he stabbed Li — and Meng—, then fled. In flight, he encountered Ye — and stabbed him too.

Concerning this, an area bus dispatcher said, the police definitely established that Li– was riding the 577 bus at the time in question. But the driver of the bus said, when questioned by the police, that there had been no dispute on the bus. What happened after the passengers got off the bus, of that the bus driver has no knowledge.

After the incident, there was a rumor that the victims were state security police [who were following Jin Zhongqi]. In response, Li’s family members stated that this was not true, that Li— was an office worker at a computer company. He did not know Jin Zhongqi or the other murdered victim. Relatives of Meng and Ye also denied this rumor.

06-27 began as an ordinary day.

In his job at the computer company, Li was in charge of maintaining the multi-media equipment at colleges and universities. That day, he had received a call from Beijing Jiaotong University that a hard drive in one of their classroom computers was not working, and they wanted him to come repair it. After graduating with a degree in computing at a university in Heilong Jiang, he had come to Beijing to seek his fortune. His elder brother said this was his second job, and that before this he had had another computer related job.

Ye was a Ph.D candidate in the 2013 class of the Academy of Sciences. This young person of 31 was very busy with preparations to complete his degree. In the middle of the 7th month he was planning to move to Nanjing to take up a job in environmental research. On this day he was submitting an application to driver’s school. He wanted to have a driver’s license in hand when he reported for his new job.

At 2 in the afternoon, Li Gang was waiting to transfer at the Jingshuyuan stop, on his way to his client. Ye had just got out of a car near the bus stop and was going back to where had parked his bicycle to return to school.

Then the calamity occurred: a man took out a 20 centimeter knife, and stabbed Li and Meng. Then he stabbed Ye, who has not far away.

The suspect who assaulted them was not someone anyone of them knew.

The suspect Jin Zhongqi claimed he was being followed by state security police, and that they were operating from apartments adjacent to his apartment.

Jin Zhongqi lived in apartment 3002, on the 30th floor. On this floor there were four units in all. Units 3001 and 3004 are unoccupied, and not yet fixed up for new tenants. The woman who lives in 3003 said that she hardly had any contact with Jin Zhongqi at all, but somehow, in some indistinct way, a situation arose in regard to him.
Although she was unaware at the time, apparently a person suspected to be Jin Zhongqi posted on Weibo that state security policy and weiwen (“upholding stability”) agents were occupying her apartment (3003) and 2902, the apartment directly one floor below his.
In 2092, there is a family of three. A woman who lives there said Jin Zhongqi was a tenant who had been there for one or two years. They had had several encounters with him.
“A year ago, Jin Zhongqi knocked on our door. He said there were people following him, he claimed that the people who were following him ran into our residence. He said my husband was one of them, a member of their group.” The woman resident said this left her completely baffled. “Right after he left the police came and told me he had mental problems. They said not to open the door to him anymore.”

But to other residents in the complex, Jin Zhongqi seemed very ordinary. A building maintainance staff member said, whenever he had dealings with him, he seemed perfectly normal. Another resident said, he saw Jin Zhongqi walking the day before the incident, and there wasn’t anything unusual about him.

An elderly neighbor was astounded when he heard Jin Zhongqi had harmed anyone. “He was an honest person. Whenever someone had a problem, he was always willing to help.” This neighbor said that many years ago, when Jin Zhongqi lived in a one story house, he saw an old lady lighting some coal, and he stopped to help her by fanning the pile to get it going. Although not a noisy or chattering type person, he never failed to greet his neighbors warmly when he saw them.

Many neighbors confirmed that thirty years ago, in Zhongqi had become afflicted with a mental illness. “It seems like his emotional problems led to the incident” one said.

The Ministry of Public Security class A order for Jin Zhongqi’s arrest lists his address as Haidian district Madianjiedong village Number 8, but this no longer exists. The old house was demolished around 1999, and the people there were all moved to the Madian Yulanyuan community (The Yulanyuan community is a “minority resident focal-point community for Hui minority Beijing residents). But Jin Zhongqi and his older sister did not move into that community with the other neighbors. The community residents said that the area where Jin Zhongqi’s old house used to be, has now been made into a park.

One former neighbor said, Jin Zhongqi’s family used to be reasonably well-off. Some family members worked in a toy factory. Another said that on 06-30, Jin Zhongqi’s elder sister died of heart disease. “ Her health had suffered when they had moved out of their old house, and she had never completely recovered. When people told her of the incident involving ‘little Jin,’ that was the last straw.”

On 06-15, a person suspected to be Jin Zhongqi posted on Weibo that “once again the state security police may initiate violence by provoking a quarrel, and they have determined the place where they will start a fight will be on a commuter bus.”
konjaku: for the background of “upholding stability” agents see:

note: Jin Zhongqi is another displaced villager, whose house was demolished “around 1999” long before the current urban-rural unification project. Although this may have no connection to the incident in question here, it is possible that losing his home may have caused him to become a Weiquan activist, or to harbor strong feelings toward the state security police.

konjaku: the third source:

Epoch Times 2016-07-05, reporter Yang Yifan

On July 4. mainland media outlets said that Weiquan (rights protection) activist Jin Zhongqi had committed suicide. Up to this point the government had not disclosed any information on the case. On the web it was disseminated that two of the people Jin Zhongqi stabbed to death were possibly state security police agents. Observers both inside and outside the country said it was necessary to be cautious about the government’s claim that he had committed suicide. Rather, the government may have eliminated Jin Zhongqi in order to conceal the truth about the incident, and prevent him from telling his version of the story.

The Jinghua Times (a mainland media outlet) released the news on 07-04 that Jin Zhongqi had been found, and that he had committed suicide. On 07-03, all Beijing police stations, having been previously notified, rescinded the order for his arrest.

On 06-28, the Ministry of Public Security issued the order for the arrest of Jin Zhongqi, but although it stated he killed two people, it contained no information about the victims.

In its initial public notices, the government kept all information on the two murdered victims secret, but revealed details about the man who was injured. The Independent Federation of Chinese Students and Scholars director Guyi posted (from the US) to the mainland internet forum Tianya, asking that the identity of the two victims be revealed, but his comment was erased. Guyi then posted on Radio Free Asia that the government may have some reason not to make public information on the identity of the victims[links below]. Did Jin Zhongqi really willfully murder anyone? Or was it legitimate self-defense?

A mainland reporter said five separate departments of Public Security are working on this case, a sign that they give it special importance.

On 06-23, a person believed to be Jin Zhongqi posted on Weibo, “last night in the corridor a state security agent spoke to me, ‘how about it, how about it, do you think we are unfair?’ I replied, ‘you state police spend all your time setting traps, provoking quarrels so you can use violence, harassing us like hoodlums. Using your position as police you stop at nothing to illegally take the lives of the people.Can you say you behave fairly?’ The panda [slang term for secret police] was left speechless.”

Guyi believes that if Zhongqi really killed two state security agents, the government would wish to suppress this story. Just as in the case of another dissident, Li Wangyang, who is supposed to have hung himself in his jail cell, it is possible that what the government claims was suicide was actually killing the witness to prevent him from talking.
Another Weiquan activist, Dong Xiqin, told this newspaper that Jin Zhongqi was a kind and decent man, always willing to help others. He believes Jin was followed by state security agents for a long time, and was driven to take an extreme action, for which he cannot be blamed.

A foreign newspaper reported on 07-04 that Ni Yulan, a Weiquan activist, said that for many years Jin had helped other Weiquan members, and for this had been placed under house arrest. He was threatened repeatedly, had his water and gas shut off. Every day he was pushed, shoved and beaten up by state security agents. Once he said to Ni Yulan, the government is not afraid of us standing on street corners holding protest signs, but what they are afraid of is the kind of violent resistance practiced by Yang Jia. And he was willing to be like Yang Jia.

konjaku: Yang Jia received both national and international attention, after he killed six policeman and injured others at a Shanghai police station in 2008 in retaliation for being roughed up by police in a previous incident. According to the Wikipedia account:

While there was initial public anger at the killings, Western media noted that discourse on Chinese internet forums and blogs soon became largely sympathetic to Yang, with many expressing suspicions that Yang might not receive a fair trial and that the police might want to cover up wrongdoings of their own.The Daily Telegraph quoted one Chinese blogger as praising Yang’s “strong sense of the law” and another comparing him to Wu Song, a hero in Chinese literature.A message left on Yang’s MySpace account was reported to have read: “You have done what most people want to do, but do not have enough courage to do.”
Radio Free Asia links

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