Beijing: Chinese police have launched a manhunt for a serial killer suspected to be behind the armed robbery that left one person dead in southwest Chongqing Municipality on Friday.
The suspect, identified as Zhou Kehua, was believed to have fatally shot a woman in front of a Bank of China branch before grabbing her handbag and fleeing on motorcycle, sstate-run Xinhua news agency quoted the the city's public security bureau as saying.
Two others were also injured in the robbery, which took place in the city's Shapingba District, the bureau said.
The 42-year-old male suspect is a Chongqing local, it said adding that he was suspected of have committed several murders and robberies in Jiangsu and Hunan provinces and Chongqing Municipality since 2004.
Chongqing police have offered a reward of 500,000 yuan (USD 78,600) for information leading to his arrest.
Chinese laws ban the possession of firearms, and gun crimes, though rare, usually attract much public attention.
In January, a man was robbed and fatally shot in front of a bank in Nanjing, prompting a large-scale manhunt.
According to police in Nanjing, the suspect had previously used a gun to kill six people in robberies in Changsha, the capital of Hunan, and Chongqing since 2004.
Police have not confirmed whether the man behind the latest crime was the same person.
First Published: Friday, August 10, 2012, 18:34