Self-defense or murder? A heated debate over the killing of a BMW driver by a cyclist in China

Road rage cost a man his life. And it was his own knife that did him in.

Surveillance footage captured a disturbing scene on August 27 in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, when a BMW trying to switch from a car lane to a bicycle lane collided with a cyclist.

Two people emerged from the car to move the bike to the pavement. But then the driver of the car, Liu Hailong, 36, physically confronted the cyclist, Yu Haiming, 41.

Yu fought back while Liu’s friends tried to break up the fight. But the situation escalated when Liu ran back to his car and brought out a knife.

In the chaos, Liu dropped the knife, which Yu picked up. He slashed Liu at least six times before the police arrived at the scene.

Both men were taken to the hospital — where Liu was pronounced dead.

The footage of the incident, which went viral on Chinese social media, generated heated debate among internet users. One commenter wrote, “I support the cyclist. He is not guilty and this is justifiable self-defense.”

“I suggest we award the cyclist for removing the bad guys from society,” said another internet user.

Legal experts also weighed in. One lawyer, Bao Hua, told China Daily that he considered the cyclist’s act unjustifiable. He said that if Yu had grabbed the knife and forced Liu to step back, it would have been fine, but Yu continued his attack even after Liu appeared to surrender.

This incident is under investigation.