• Directory of Taiwan

Man allegedly stabs store clerk to death over masking dispute in Taiwan's Taoyuan

Clerk fought back against suspect before collapsing outside store

Man allegedly stabs store clerk to death over masking dispute in Taiwan's Taoyuan

(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A man allegedly stabbed a convenience store clerk to death in Taoyuan’s Guishan District on Sunday (Nov. 21) after the clerk asked him to wear a mask.

Guishan Police Station Chief Feng Li-ze (馮理澤) told the media that the suspect, surnamed Chiang (蔣), entered a convenience store in Guishan sometime after 5 a.m., CNA reported. As Chiang was not wearing a mask, the clerk, surnamed Tsai (蔡), told him that he should put one on. Reacting to the admonition, Chiang left in a fit of pique.

Shortly after, Chiang returned to the store masked, but when he finished shopping, he threw the mask at the clerk and left, the report said.

When the unruly customer went into the store for a third time, he asked Tsai to come out from behind the counter and then stabbed him with a knife a number of times. The clerk fought back and wrestled the knife from his attacker before collapsing outside the store, bleeding profusely.

Witnesses called the authorities to report the incident, and the Taoyuan Fire Department dispatched first responders to the scene. They found Tsai had suffered three stab wounds to his chest and was falling into a coma.

Tsai suffered out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) and was declared dead by the hospital after emergency treatment, the report said.

Chiang, who had injuries on his hands, was arrested by responding officers. He was escorted to the hospital for treatment before being brought to the station for interrogation, according to CNA.

The suspect was reportedly silent while being transported to the station. However, he became nervous and knelt on the ground several times, requiring police to pull him up on the way to the building.

Tsai’s father arrived at the station in a state of shock and disbelief after being notified by the police of his son’s fate. He said his son had always been well-behaved and wondered how his job could have cost him his life.

Police are still investigating the details of the crime as well as the motive.

Taoyuan Mayor Cheng Wen-tsung (鄭文燦) has condemned the violence, describing it as “spine-chilling cruelty.”