In about-face, Vietnam province to launch criminal probe into fatal shooting of 2 local leaders

By VnExpress   August 18, 2016 | 03:00 pm PT
In about-face, Vietnam province to launch criminal probe into fatal shooting of 2 local leaders
Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc (2nd,L) visits a shooting victim in the northern moutainous province of Yen Bai on Thursday. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
Police chief says the 'extremely serious' nature of the incident warrants the probe.

Police in the northern mountainous province of Yen Bai will launch a criminal investigation into the unprecedented fatal shooting of two provincial leaders even though the prime suspect, another local senior official, had killed himself.

That was an about-face as at a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Major General Dang Tran Chieu, the director of Yen Bai’s police department, in invoking the Penal Code, said there would be no criminal investigation into the shooting as the prime suspect had died

But Chieu reversed his decision late Thursday, saying the “extremely serious” nature of the incident would warrant such a probe.

Pham Duy Cuong, the chief of Yen Bai’s Communist Party Unit, and Ngo Ngoc Tuan, the chairman of the People’s Council (the local legislature) died on Thursday after Do Cuong Minh, the head of the province’s forest ranger unit, allegedly gunned them down in their offices. Minh later shot himself.

The three men, who were shot multiple times in their head, chest, and abdomen, were pronounced dead by Thursday afternoon.

The rare, headline-grabbing shooting took place just before a meeting of the People’s Council. Its motives have remained unclear as of press time.

In the wake of the incident, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc arrived in Yen Bai to instruct investigative work. He asked agencies concerned to beef up security in the province to prevent the situation from exacerbating.

Phuc, who acknowledged that the shooting “had never happened anywhere in Vietnam", also called for increased protection for family members of both the victims and the alleged gunman.

Related news:

Vietnam official guns down 2 provincial leaders before shooting himself

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