AN armed police officer in southwest China’s Yunnan Province was shot dead earlier this month while on patrol.
No one has been apprehended, but police said they think the killing was drug related.
Yang Jungang, chief of the border patrol team of Jiangcheng County, which borders Vietnam and Laos, was shot dead on March 7 while on patrol in the rural Kangping Township.
While making their rounds in the Kangping Township, Yang and his colleagues spotted three men acting suspiciously. When the officers approached them, the three fled the scene on foot.
At the same time, a fourth, unseen, person began firing at the police. Yang was shot in the chest and abdomen. The four suspects have yet to be identified and are still on the run.
Yang survived a shooting last July while working undercover trying to infiltrate a gang of drugs traffickers, according to his college Mao Zhiguo.
“He got lucky that time, but this time he wasn’t prepared for it,” he said.
The rapid rise in gun crime, especially related to drugs cases, has meant police officers are becoming increasingly at risk.
In the past five years, “at least” six officers have died, while 95 others have been injured, according to the Border Patrol Brigade of the Yunnan police.
Last year, the brigade tackled about 2,000 drug cases, detained 2,000 suspects and seized 9 tons of narcotics.
“At least” 13 drug crimes involved the use of guns, said Li Yong, its chief of staff.
“Suspects often react violently, using weapons like knives and guns, putting lives in danger,” he said.
The brigade is exploring new way to keep its officers safe, he said.
Yunnan has some of the highest drug-related crime in China due to it being a local production base and its proximity to the opium-growing region of neighboring countries.