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Taiwanese man dies discharging illegal handgun in front of house guests

40-year-old victim of self-inflicted gunshot wound reportedly involved in organized crime

(Unsplash, Arnav Singhal photo) 

(Unsplash, Arnav Singhal photo) 

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A 40-year-old man in Taoyuan City’s Longtan District died on Tuesday (Oct. 31) after discharging an illegally modified pistol, which he believed was non-functional.

The man, surnamed Tsai (蔡), was entertaining three guests at his home, including a friend surnamed Su (蘇) and his two teenage sons. Tsai was showing off the pistol that he had been working on, reported CNA.

According to reports, Tsai told his guests that the pistol would not fire, and pulled the trigger once with no effect. Then, he placed the gun to his forehead for a further demonstration, in which the weapon unexpectedly discharged.

A camera in the man’s living room recorded the entire incident and the video began circulating online the next day.

Tsai’s wife, who was upstairs, was startled by the unexpected bang and rushed down to the living room to find her husband with a serious wound to his head. She quickly called an ambulance, but Tsai was declared dead soon after arrival at a nearby hospital.

In the video, Su and the two boys are visibly surprised at the sudden discharge of the gun. The friend jumps up and rushes to check on Tsai’s condition before he and his sons leave the room in fright.

Police officers are reportedly investigating the incident and trying to discover where Tsai obtained the illegal firearm. A report made early Wednesday (Nov. 2) morning indicates that police in Longtan District said no one present in Tsai’s home has any affiliation with organized crime groups.

However, subsequent reports on the incident contradict that assertion. According to UDN, Tsai was a leader of the Taoyuan branch of the Bamboo Union's Tiger Division.

Further, Su was reportedly a wanted criminal being sought by authorities for charges related to the illegal detention of others. He was arrested following Tuesday’s incident, per CNA.