Stabbing rampage at Guangxi kindergarten leaves two dead and 16 wounded, including children

Society & Culture

A man committed a deadly attack on children and teachers at a school where his ex-wife worked.

beiliu blood donation
People in Beiliu standing in line to donate blood.

A man wielding a kitchen knife went on a stabbing and slashing spree at a kindergarten in the city of Beiliu, Guangxi Province, on April 28, according to Xinhua (in Chinese). Two children were killed during the attack and 16 others — including teachers and students — were hurt, some with life-threatening injuries.

The rampage happened on Wednesday at around 2 p.m. Crime scene photos shared online showed children’s bodies lying in a playground covered in blood, and local police officers escorting the handcuffed suspect out of the school.

The identity of the attacker, who is now in custody and being questioned by police, has not been fully disclosed, but several news outlets described him as “a 25-year-old man who seemed to have mental health problems.” While a motive hasn’t been determined, some unnamed sources online said that the suspect was emotionally unstable after a divorce initiated by his wife, who worked at the school.

In the hours after the carnage, officials made a plea for blood donations. In a video (in Chinese) that has been making the rounds on Chinese social media, local residents in Beiliu can be seen responding in droves, lining up outside a mobile station to give blood.

Per Xinhua, a group of experts have been working on treatment plans for the injured, and victims will receive psychological counseling to alleviate PTSD symptoms. 

In the wake of the brutal attack, the Chinese Ministry of Education issued an emergency notice, calling for schools around the country to increase their security efforts and avoid similar incidents in the future. 

On social media, discussions about the rampage are strictly controlled. The first related hashtag that started trending on Weibo earlier today, “A man in Guangxi broke into a kindergarten to stab teachers and students” (广西一男子闯入幼儿园砍伤师生), has been censored on the platform. 

The news was conspicuously absent on Weibo’s trending topics, likely a result of censorship. The suppression has angered many internet users, including one who claimed to be the aunt of an injured child who is currently in critical condition. “It’s such a morally corrupt move to keep removing the news from trending topics. Some kids are still in the hospital!” she wrote in a post (in Chinese). 

Other critics argued that it was unprofessional and irresponsible for some reporters to suggest that the attacker was mentally ill before an official diagnosis. “It doesn’t matter what mental struggles you are going through, there is no excuse or reason to harm innocent kids and turn schools into killing fields,” a Weibo user wrote (in Chinese).

Some speculated that the emphasis on the suspect’s mental condition in media reports was an attempt to distract the public attention from his maleness and the likelihood that the root of his murderous rage was his hatred toward his wife. “The fact that he chose a kindergarten, not a police bureau, to commit the crime should make it obvious that he’s not stupid,” a Weibo user commented (in Chinese).

China is no stranger to school attacks, and men are responsible for most of them. In 2018, a 28-year-old knife-wielding man killed nine middle-school students and injured 10 in a school stabbing rampage in Shaanxi Province. The same year, a man brandishing a kitchen knife stabbed two boys to death outside an elementary school in Shanghai. In 2019, more than 50 people, almost all of them young children, were hospitalized in Kaiyuan, Yunnan Province, after a 23-year-old man burst into a kindergarten and sprayed them with a corrosive chemical as “revenge on society.”

Suggested for you