A man in northern Taiwan died Monday evening after he put a gun he believed to be malfunctioning to his own head before pulling the trigger to demonstrate that it didn’t work.
According to reports, the 40-year-old man, named Tsai, was entertaining a friend named Su and two teenage boys in his living room when the accident occured.
According to the police investigation, which included video footage from a home security camera, and the testimony of witnesses, Tsai pulled a modified pistol out of its case and explained to his visitors that the gun didn’t work.
The video footage, which circulated widely on the Internet in the days after the incident, showed Tsai putting the gun to his temple, before casually waving it with the muzzle pointing towards Su. Some reports say that Tsai asked Su if he could see a bullet stuck in the barrel. Holding the pistol in his right hand, Tsai then placed the muzzle against the middle of his forehead and squeezed the trigger with his thumb.
Unfortunately for Tsai, the gun did not malfunction, and actually fired a bullet. Su and the boys were visibly shocked. Video footage showed Su briefly check on Tsai’s condition before panicking and leaving the scene with the two boys.
Tsai’s wife, who was upstairs at the time of the incident, heard the gunshot and hurried downstairs. Mrs Tsai called 119, and Tsai was rushed to hospital but declared dead a short time after arrival.
A preliminary medical forensics report noted that Tsai had a hole about the size of a Taiwan five dollar coin in his forehead, and a large, irregular hole in the back of his head.
Police said that Tsai was a member of a local faction of the Bamboo Union gang organization, but discounted reports that he was a leader, saying that he was not influential. Pictures circulating on social media showing Tsai posing behind Chang An-Lo (The White Wolf) just showed that Tsai liked to show off.
According to the investigation, Tsai had purchased the illegal weapon for self-protection because he owed a debt of NT$100,000 to underground money lenders.
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