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Kaohsiung Prison warden recounts bloody end of hostage crisis

Kaohsiung Prison warden recounts bloody end of hostage crisis

Taipei, Feb. 12 (CNA) Kaohsiung Prison Warden Chen Shih-chih (???) was still clearly shaken at the Thursday afternoon press conference where he recounted watching as the six inmates who took him hostage committed suicide that morning after a 14-hour stand-off with police. Chen, who had offered himself as a hostage in exchange for the release of his deputy, was in a room about 5 meters away when the six turned the prison guns they had stolen on themselves, ending the unprecedented crisis in the prison that had gripped the nation since it started Wednesday afternoon. Before the bloody conclusion, Chen said he and another hostage, head guard Wang Shih-tsang (???), had watched as the aggressors wolfed down meals that police negotiators gave them over the tense night. After Wang was released, Chen was still kept as they drank up beers and two bottles of kaoliang sorghum liquor they had demanded. Perhaps under the influence of the liquor, the group of inmates led by local gangster Cheng Li-te (???) at around 1 or 2 a.m. turned over the hundreds of rounds they had stolen and promised not to harm Chen. It was a few hours later at about 4 a.m. or 5 a.m. that the inmates stirred with resolve and bid farewell to each other, and four of them positioned themselves in a circle across from each other in pairs, he said. They then aimed their 9mm pistols at each others' temples and fired. Cheng and the remaining inmate each picked up a Type 65K2 assault rifle and deliverd the coup de grace for their dying compatriots before shooting each other in the head with pistols, ending the stand-off for good. According to the warden, the bloody outcome was caused by the fact that the inmates felt they had no other way to resolve the situation they had created. Chen said that compelled by the need to save face, Cheng and the other inmates, each of whom was serving a long sentence, had refused to drop their weapons and surrender. Most notably, Chen said that if "White Wolf" Chang An-lo (???), a high-profile former gangster considered the honorary chief of Cheng's triad, Bamboo Union (???), had not been barred from meeting the inmates as they requested, the crisis may have ended without the loss of lives. Police detectives who had arrived at the scene said that the bodies of the six inmates had been found laying on the ground in a pattern resembling the petals of a plum flower. A detective said he had never encountered a crime scene where the body were laid out in such a fashion after suicide by firearm. Police suggestions that the gruesome scene was related to feng shui practices or superstitions, saying that the odd formation of bodies was caused by the recoil from firing the 9mm pistols. (By Cheng Che-fon and Ted Chen)


Updated : 2021-09-21 02:18 GMT+08:00