Police fire 47 shots after gunman kills himself in W. Taiwan

Gunman leads police on wild 4-hour chase across W. Taiwan before shooting himself


(CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- After shooting at a residence, a gunman led police on a wild chase across western Taiwan before being pinned in by squad cars and taking his own life.

The 32-year-old suspect, surnamed Lai (賴), fired shots at a house in Taichung on Sunday night (July 28). Lai then continued to fire shots in downtown Taichung as police gave chase.

At 6 p.m. on Sunday, Lai drove a white Mercedes-Benz SUV in front of a house on Xinan Street in Taichung City's Taiping District and fired three shots at the garage door, reported the Liberty Times. Police were alerted that Lai was suspected to have fired the shots, and a four-hour chase across western Taiwan began.

There are also reports that during the chase, Lai fired shots at a police station in Taichung City. Police confirmed that he also fired three shots in the air at the intersection of Wenxin South Road and Wenxin South Third Road during the chase, reported Liberty Times.

At 10:30 p.m., police finally spotted Lai as he reached a stoplight near Ailan Bridge in Nantou County's Puli Township. When Lai saw the police cruisers, he tried to turn around and escape.

Scene of initial shooting at residence (CNA photo)

However, five squad cars surrounded Lai's vehicle, effectively hemming him in. Police then fired two warning shots in the air.

Officers then heard two shots fired from inside Lai's SUV and, fearing that he was aiming at them, they fired 47 shots at the vehicle's tires, reported CNA.

When police approached the vehicle, they found a bullet wound in Lai's right temple, and he had no vital signs. Lai was immediately rushed to Puli Christian Hospital, where he was declared dead.

According to local media reports, Lai had a video chat with his uncle during the chase and asked that he take good care of his twin 3-year-old daughters. Lai's words during the video chat reportedly sounded as if he had lost his will to live.

As to why Lai had fired shots at the residence, the homeowners said they did not know him and were unclear about his motives. Police said they are currently investigating the case and that an autopsy is planned for today (July 30) to determine whether or not the wound was self-inflicted, reported China Times.