A student from the University of South China donates blood in Hengyang, Hunan province, on Thursday. The city has called for the public to donate for people injured in a deadly attack in Hengdong county on Wednesday. Eleven people have died and 44 were injured in the automobile and knife attack. (CAO ZHENGPING/FOR CHINA DAILY)
A 54-year-old man detained for driving an SUV into a crowd in Hengdong county, Hunan province, on Wednesday night and then attacking people with a shovel and dagger, has a criminal record and has been jailed several times for drug dealing, public brawling and intentional injury, local police said on Thursday.
They said his desire for revenge on society motivated his attack on the crowd gathered in a local square. The attack by Yang Zanyun caused heavy casualties, they said, with 11 people killed and 44 still in the hospital.
The attack took place at around 7:40 pm. Three of the injured, who are in critical condition, were rushed to the hospital. Yang was taken into custody at the scene.
The case is under further investigation by police and the local procuratorate.
According to records posted on China Judgments Online, Yang was born in Hengdong county in 1964, has a junior high school education and is unemployed.
In October 1992, he was sentenced two years' imprisonment by the people's court in Hengdong for intentional injury, and in 2001 the same court jailed him for three years for dealing drugs, Beijing Evening News reported.
In October 2005, Yang was sentenced to nine months and three days in prison for defiance and brawling, and a year later was given a year's probation after being found guilty of accidentally causing a fire.
In August 2009, Yang was jailed for another six months for extortion. He was released in May 2014.
Du Jiahao, secretary of the provincial Party committee, urged officials to set up special teams for medical aid, post-accident coordination and case investigation, while treating the injured and taking care of the families involved.
Hunan Governor Xu Dazhe and Vice-Governor Xu Xianhui arrived in Hengdong to visit the injured.
Sun Lijun, vice-minister of public security, led a team to guide the investigation.
Local health authorities also dispatched groups of medical experts to Hengdong and drew up treatment plans for each hospitalized victim.
The county government has sent personnel to provide one-on-one support for families of the deceased.
Many members of the public have volunteered to assist in aid work and the local blood center has called for more blood donors to come forward.