Police officer shot in the line of duty dies after 23 years in a vegetative state

A man who was shot in the head while serving as a police officer in 1997 passed away in Chiayi County yesterday, September 18, after surviving for 23 years in a post-coma unresponsive state.

Lu Jin-quan (呂進全) was on patrol with colleague Liu Neng-yuan (劉能源) in Banqiao City, Taipei County (now Banqiao District, New Taipei City), on the evening of January 25, 1997, when two wanted men in a stolen taxi purposely rammed from behind the police scooter both officers were riding at the time.

The two criminals, Pan Shi-chang, and Wu Ming-qing, both armed with modified handguns got out of the taxi in an apparent attempt to steal the police officers’ pistols.

Officer Liu was rendered unconscious, but Lu, despite his injuries, struggled to get up and draw his gun.

Pan then shot Lu in the head at close range.

Officer Lu was 25 years old at the time, and had served as a police officer for five years. After four months and 16 surgeries, Lu remained in a persistent vegetative state (post-coma unresponsiveness).

Lu’s father, Lu Jin-zhang took him home to Zhuqi Township, Chiayi County, where the father took care of his son for 23 years.

Mr Lu said that he was proud of his son and had always hoped that one day his son would wake up.

In the last year, Lu Jin-quan’s physical condition began to deteriorate. Lu Jin-zhang held his son’s hand as Lu Jin-quan, now aged 48, passed away from multiple organ failure at 8:37 am yesterday.

After the 1997 incident, police regulations were amended to make sure that police patrolled on two scooters, rather than one officer riding pillion to another officer on a single scooter.

The felon Pan shi-chang, who had shot Lu was handed the death sentence and subsequently executed for this crime. His accomplice, Wu Ming-qing was handed a life sentence, and remains behind bars.

Pictures: Chiayi County Police Bureau.

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