This viral video – seen over 3 million times online – shows a police sniper setting up a rifle between his colleague’s legs before reportedly gunning down a hostage-taker who was holding a woman captive just feet away.
SWAT Captain Zeng Hao has revealed it was the first time he had to shoot a suspect – and that he only had about four inches of the suspect to aim at.
Video Credit: AsiaWire
The hostage incident happened on the afternoon of 9th August in the city of Nanning, capital of Guangxi region in South China, with footage then released as five officers were recognised on 30th August.
Security footage from the day shows the hostage-taker surnamed Huang, 18, walking with his right arm wrapped around a young woman, leading her to the corner of Xinmin Road underground station.
The video shows the knife-wielding suspect sitting behind the victim and holding her in the corner of the metro station near ticket vending machines.
Nanning SWAT, including chief negotiator Qi Hongwei and sniper Zeng Hao, were called to assist at 4:56pm local time, leading to a tense two-hour standoff which ultimately ended in the critical shot.
Officer Qi recalled: “[The suspect] wasn’t communicating; he refused to speak.
“I asked him where he was from and why he was doing this. Then I asked him to let the girl go and offered him water, but he said no to everything.”
Officer Zeng, who is also head of Nanning SWAT’s First Tactical Unit, is seen setting up his rifle around a corner – behind one of his colleagues – and pointing the barrel of his firearm between the policeman’s legs for concealment.
He held the position for two hours until talks broke down and the suspect attempted to harm the woman around 7pm, the police said.
Zeng can be seen firing a single shot from his rifle, reportedly hitting the suspect in the head, before officers rush over and free the female hostage.
Huang was killed instantly.
Officer Zeng said: “I’d just finished training when I was called over to assist. I deliberately kept my training gear on in order to find the most suitable sniping position.
“I lay there for about two hours listening to the negotiations. My hands and shoulders went stiff many times, but I managed to stay focused and in the end shot the suspect in the head.
“Because the suspect was sitting behind the victim, holding her, only about 10 centimetres (four inches) of his head was exposed. Shooting anywhere else might’ve threatened the hostage, so I ruled out attempting to hit any other body parts.
“I’ve been a policeman for 19 years and taken part in many hostage rescue operations, but this is the first time I’ve had to shoot a suspect.”
Officers Zeng and Qi were among five policemen commended for their actions during the 9th August hostage operation.
Others recognised included second designated shooter Liang Feng, as well as local policemen Jia Dan and Long Rongfu.
It is unclear why the hostage-taker had taken the woman and the victim was unharmed in the incident.
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