A Kaohsiung City Police SWAT team officer today shot a suspect three times in a raid to take down a man suspected of planting an explosive device in Tainan City two days ago.
At around 1:00pm Thursday, December 12, a suspicious bag, containing around four liters of liquid in two bottles, a quantity of white powder, wires, and a possible detonator or timer, was spotted against a wall of the Kuomintang (KMT/Chinese Nationalist Party) headquarters in Houbi District, Tainan City.
After a preliminary inspection, it was suspected that the device contained triacetone triacetate (TATP), an explosive compound previously used in terrorist attacks in London, Brussels, and Paris, and which terrorists have nicknamed ‘Mother of Satan’.
After a police disposal unit was dispatched to deal with the device, an investigation began that led police to a suspect named Wu, who was seen on security monitor footage, planting the suspicious device at around 5:00am that morning.
Wu is reported to be 45 years old, long term unemployed, and has a criminal record for attempted murder and confronting police with a gun.
Police traced Wu to a residence in Lingya District in neighboring Kaohsiung City, and surrounded the house yesterday evening, December 13. However, Wu, holed up in a fourth-floor apartment, and armed with a pistol, refused to surrender, claiming that he had a bomb and a remote control to detonate the device.
A standoff ensued in which Wu held a pistol in one hand, and a remote control in the other.
At around 7:00pm, police set up a blockade, evacuated nearby residents, and attempted to negotiate with Wu.
Wu taunted police, telling them to hurry up, as he was ready to detonate an explosion. At one point, Wu tossed a plastic bottle filled with a white powder down onto the street. A bomb disposal unit was called in to deal with the object.
In an attempt to convince Wu into surrender, police brought Wu’s mother to the scene. Wu refused to talk to her and told her to leave.
Wu then demanded police bring his wife and children to the scene, but when police contacted the woman, she refused. “Tell him to go and die,” Ms Wu told police.
Shortly after 3:00am, investigators located Wu’s car, and a search of the vehicle yielded components for electronic detonation devices, suspected of matching the components used in the device found in Tainan City.
At 4:27am, having failed to woo Wu out of the apartment with psychological methods, police started an assault in which they fired around 40 shots, and teargas at the windows of the apartment. A second assault was executed at around 5:00am, with an estimated 30 shots fired by police.
Wu also fired back at police from a bathroom window, with an estimated 10 to 20 shots each time.
Between the assaults, police used a loudhailer, appealing to Wu, using his nickname “Ah Wen” to surrender. “Come out with both hands held high. Ah Wen surrender, Ah Wen surrender,” police called, repeatedly.
At one point, a teargas canister aimed at the small bathroom window missed, hit the wall, and bounced back into the street, affecting police officers and reporters hunkered down behind police cars parked as cover.
At around 6:40am, a SWAT team entered the building and more than 10 shots were heard from inside the building. An ambulance on standby then rushed Wu to hospital.
Police body cam from SWAT team members showed them breaking through the door of the apartment. According to police, Wu, threatening to go down and take the police with him, was holding his revolver in his left hand, pointing it at his left temple. In his right hand, Wu held a remote control.
One officer fired five shots, of which three hit Wu. As Wu went down, officers rushed forward and tore the remote control out of his hand.
Wu was rushed to hospital suffering three gunshots wounds to his hips and abdomen, none of which are considered life-threatening.
A search of Wu’s apartment turned up a modified pistol, and bottles of chemical precursors for the manufacture of TATP that could yield more than one kilogram of the explosive.
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