Wanted man killed in shootout with police in S. Taiwan

Wanted man shot dead during gun battle with police in S. Taiwan

Wanted poster for Chen.

Wanted poster for Chen. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After being on the loose for three years, a wanted man died in a gun battle with police in southern Taiwan today (July 10), while one policeman was injured.

At 4:20 a.m. this morning officers of the Sixth Brigade of the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB), the Yunlin County Police Department, Tainan City Government Police Bureau, Chiayi County Police Bureau, and National Police Agency Special Operations Group tracked down a vehicle in Chiayi County's Dapu Township driven by the suspect, Chen Hung-tsung (陳宏宗), reported CNA. When police approached Chen's car, they ordered him to step outside the vehicle, but he immediately hit reverse, collided with a police cruiser, and fired three shots at officers.

One bullet shattered the windshield of a Special Operations Group vehicle, causing the driver to suffer a 4 by 2 cm laceration to his head, reported Liberty Times. The other two bullets struck the bullet-proof shield of a Special Operations officer.

Chen Hung-tsung. (Police photo)

Police immediately returned fire with three shots, with one bullet striking Chen in the head, killing him inside his car, according to the report. After removing Chen's body from the vehicle, two handguns and several rounds of ammunition were found inside.

In early December of 2016, after having a dispute with a vendor in a vegetable market in Yunlin County's Xiluo Township, Chen enlisted the help of a father and son, and together they fired shots at the hapless vendor's legs. The vendor suffered a gunshot wound in both legs, and the father and son later turned themselves in to police, but Chen went on the run.

On the evening of Dec. 12, 2018, a police officer on patrol duty in Tainan City's Nanxi District spotted Chen sitting on a bicycle by the side of the road. Police believed that Chen's bicycle had been damaged and that he needed assistance.

Scene of today's shootout. (CNA photo)

Chen gestured to officers that his bike had broken down, but when the patrol car approached him and a police officer opened the passenger side door, Chen opened fire. In the ensuing chaos, two officers were shot, but avoided mortal wounds thanks to their bullet-proof vests, while Chen was able to escape from the scene.

Since his disappearance, Chen was believed to be holed up in mountainous areas of Chiayi and Tainan counties until today.

Police officer receiving treatment for injury today. (CNA photo)

Police investigating scene of shootout. (CNA photo)