Beijing Subway Hostage-Taker Shot Dead, Netizen Reactions

A Chinese man holding a female security checkpoint worker hostage in the Beijing Subway at Hujialou station.

A Chinese man holding a female security checkpoint worker hostage in the Beijing Subway at Hujialou station.A Chinese man holding a female security checkpoint worker hostage in the Beijing Subway at Hujialou station.

With over 3.5m views and over 8600 comments currently, the following video of a hostage situation at the Hujialou Beijing Subway station is one of this week’s most popular videos on Chinese video sharing website Youku…

From Youku:

Scene of man in Beijing Subway who was shot dead after holding a female security check point worker hostage at knife-point

In Beijing on the 19th, a man at the B exit of the Hujialou subway station held a female security check point worker hostage at knife-point. After over 70 minutes of unsuccessful negotiations, and as the suspect was harming the hostage, a Blue Sword Commando Unit sniper of the Beijing City Public Security Bureau SWAT Team made decisively open fired, shot the suspect dead, and safely rescued the hostage. At present, the identity of the suspect is still being verified.

A Chinese man holding a female security checkpoint worker hostage in the Beijing Subway at Hujialou station.A Chinese man holding a female security checkpoint worker hostage in the Beijing Subway at Hujialou station.

The Beijing police negotiators' seemingly nonchalant behavior while handling the Beijing Subway hostage situation.

The female security check point worker being escorted out of the subway station after the hostage-taker was shot dead.

The hostage-taker's body being carried out of the Hujialou Beijing Subway station in a body bag.

Comments from Youku:


When the suspect was waving his knife around in his right hand, wouldn’t it have been enough to just shoot his arm directly and then immediately subdue him? I don’t get it.

混浊: (responding to above)

A waving arm versus a unmoving head, which one is easier to hit?


Why didn’t they shoot his right hand, arm, or shoulder? China’s administration of justice is treats human life too lightly.


There completely was no need to open fire and shoot him dead!


I don’t think there was anything wrong with this shooting, it was necessary… but there’s one thing that I’m still uncertain about… that last hostage situation in Guangdong, why did that so-called female police officer have to shoot that guy 4 times? Even now I haven’t figured it out.


I only want to say, with this kind of security personnel, just who can they protect? According to the video footage, this [female] security personnel had no less than 3 opportunities to break free from this hostage-taker. The hostage-taker had his knife pointing out in front of him for at least 7-8 seconds. During this time, the security personnel could have used both hands to grab the hostage-taker’s arm that was holding the knife, then flipped him over her back, and the other police could then go forward and subdue him… It can only be said that “security personnel” these days is just a word.


With our citizens, it is always shoot to kill. With foreigners, it is always a verbal warning.


Crime cannot be treated too leniently, otherwise it will be difficult to enforce the law in the future.


Why did this man take this girl hostage? Just what kind of situation was it that they had to shoot to kill? How come none of these things are mentioned?


The police did a good job! Threatening the lives of the innocent must not be tolerated. If the knife was pointed at your neck, would you still oppose the sniping?


Him holding someone hostage is indeed abominable, but was it really necessary for the police to treat his life so lightly when they had not gotten a clear understanding of what the situation was? What if the two of them were quarreling lovers? Or maybe even this girl had stolen 2 million from this man and left him no choice? Before the situation/circumstances is made clear, anything is possible!


I hope this seemingly educated person that was shot is the son or grandson of a high official.


The moment leading up to him being shot should be made public.


Invent a kind of non-lethal weapon for use during hostage situations and the problem will be solved.

风雨oo飘摇: (responding to above)

A lot of people are like you, having this kind of really stupid and naive thinking.


The hostage-taker is not the least bit detestable, whereas that police officer with the cigarette hanging off his lips looks like he deserve a violent death.


Talk about making a big deal out of nothing, was shooting him dead necessary?

o﹎承諾愛伱@: (responding to above)

I think so too, he looked like a very honest/decent person.

cpbjfu: (responding to above)

The murder in the recent US shooting also looked very honest/decent but still killed people.

风雨oo飘摇: (responding to above)

The hostage-taker in the Philippines hostage incident used to be a police officer, was he not an honest/decent person?


Just what was the hostage-taker’s demands? Why did he take a security check worker hostage? From beginning to end, it is never mentioned. What did he want? In this kind of situation, the police opening fire is fine, then using whatever method is fine, all of its understandable. But fuck, that one person holding the water and that one person smoking sure looked incredibly nonchalant…


You can all be the good guys. In the future when its your family member that is held hostage, you can tell the police not to harm the innocent life of the hostage-taker and I imagine the police will handle things in accordance with your wishes.

惊愣: (responding to above)

They’re the NC Party, who always have to say something regardless of what it is to show off.

mitiate: (responding to above)

Their point is we have to protect the human rights of the criminals even as we punish the crime… just imagine if there was a child who was forced to robbery in order to get the money to buy medicine for his sick mother, and in doing so ended ultimately ended up taking hostages and facing off against the police. If at this time the police open fired and shot him dead, what kind of reaction would you guys have? Probably would all support not shooting him to death, right? May I ask if you guys have any standards?


Really, if this thing is going to be reported at all, you might as well let everyone know the entire situation, the content of the negotiations~ This is what everyone cares more about. If this person simply wanted to kill people, the hostage would’ve died long ago. If this person was short of money, then he wouldn’t go rob the subway either. Netizens these days are not so easy to dupe, and people these days also have the ability to tell right from wrong. What we want to know is the truth~ Requesting the truth~


He wanted to negotiate, saying “If you don’t think I’m worth it, and we can’t negotiate further, don’t blame me”. This means he wanted to discuss terms, right? Several times throughout he already lowered his knife. Given that the negotiator is there, just what terms did the hostage-taker have at the time? He looks like an ordinary office worker, and throughout the entire video, it didn’t look like it had gotten to the point where the had to shoot him dead. Also, the person smoking must be a police officer or negotiator, right? Brother, you’ve really [embarrassed yourself].


Judging by his clothes and his appearance, he looks like a white collar worker, probably in a moment of impulse. It wasn’t necessary to shoot him dead, just find someone to talk with him. He doesn’t look like some extremely evil people [who could not be reasoned with].


Throughout the whole world, shooting the hostage-takers in a hostage situation where negotiations have failed is a tacitly understood way of handling things. Only in our China are there people who in these kind of situations will sympathize more with the dead hostage-taker than the hostages. I just have to wonder, when the hostage is their parents, relatives, or even themselves, will they still have the same amount of sympathy for the perpetrators?


Having seen a lot of similar news, I’m beginning to question the ability of the police in resolving hostage situations. Other than shooting someone dead, do they have any other methods?


At first, I thought the same as some others, why didn’t they shoot his shoulder? His should and his head were both exposed. Shooting his shoulder could’ve also subdued the perpetrator. Later, I figured it out! The authorities had their reasons for handling it this way, which is to tell all of those people who have thoughts of taking people hostage that “we’re going to shoot to kill” and then see still dares to take hostages!


Why is that when a person threatens an innocent person’s life, when other people might die, that person’s safety must still be ensured? As a hostage-taker, he knows the risks associated with doing what he is doing, and he must bear the corresponding cost. The hostage’s life is important, and the opportunities for rescue are also limited.


Everyone has a lot of different views, with someone saying he deserved to be killed, while others saying for good or bad he was still a life. In that moment, only the people involved at the scene really understand how tense the situation was. We are just spectators, and of those who clicked on this video, just how many didn’t want to see how the bullet pierced through the man’s head? Also, those people who are saying the negotiator looked like he was useless, why don’t you go negotiate with the criminal? Negotiations is psychological. Him lighting a cigarette, drinking some waters, that’s all to create a relaxed atmosphere for the criminal. Although I don’t know negotiating, I know the prerequisite for life and death is the measure of one’s values.

The Beijing Subway Hujialou station where a hostage situation occurred ending with the hostage-taker being shot to death.


Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.


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