A man in China was executed today for killing 9 schoolchildren and wounding a dozen others in a stabbing spree, according to a court. Knife-wielding Zhao Zewei, 28, assaulted a group of pupils in April in a revenge attack outside the Number Three Middle School of Mizhi County, north-west China’s Shaanxi Province.
Zhao was convicted of intentional homicide and sentenced to death in July by the Yulin Intermediate Court in Shaanxi Province.
The news came less than a week after a nanny convicted of arson was executed in east China’s Hangzhou; and three months after two drug dealers were sentenced to death in front of hundreds of people in south China’s Haikou before being put to death immediately.
According to China’s Xinhua News Agency, Zhao was executed by shooting. In a statement issued by Yulin Intermediate Court today, Zhao was executed in the morning on an execution ground in Mizhi County.
Footage released by Sina News apparently shows villagers crowding on the side of the road as they watch police cars escorting Zhao to the execution ground.
The footage also appears to show a team of officers in distance on a grassland which was cordoned off. It is suggested to be the execution ground by a villager who shot the video.
The court said Zhao had not appealed against the death sentence. It also said the death sentence had been reviewed and approved by the Shaanxi High People’s Court and the Supreme Court of China.
In July during the sentencing, the Yulin Intermediate Court described Zhao’s attack as an act of revenge. It said Zhao, who was unemployed, used to study at the school and he thought he was laughed at by his classmates at the time. Therefore, he held a grudge and plotted the assault. The court said Zhao was frustrated with work and life before the attack.
Initially, he planned to attack his former classmates, however he failed to find them. As a result, Zhao decided to attack the school’s current pupils. Zhao bought five knives through the internet in March and April.
On April 27 at around 5pm, he carried three knives and headed to Beimendong in Mizhi to wait for the pupils to finish school. At 6.14pm, Zhao ran towards the students and started stabbing them with his weapons. The attack saw nine students killed, four seriously wounded and eight lightly wounded.