Skip to main content

China releases footage of elementary school knife attack

By Holly Yan, CNN
December 24, 2012 -- Updated 1543 GMT (2343 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The video shows children and adults trying to fend off the attacker with brooms
  • Xinhua: Police say the knifeman stabbed an elderly woman and wounded 23 students
  • Police say he was influenced by "doomsday" rumors and a 2010 kindergarten killing
  • China suffered a spate of knife and cleaver attacks targeting school children in 2010

(CNN) -- The man raced toward the school gate, flailing a knife as terrified youngsters scattered.

A little girl raises her arm to try to defend herself but fails. She falls to the ground, losing her pink backpack near the entrance gate.

After a few minutes of horror, the attacker chases other students as they try to flee the school grounds.

By the end of the man's rampage, at least 23 elementary students were wounded, China's state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The knife attack at Chenpeng Village Primary School in China's Henan province took place on December 14, the same day an American gunman killed 20 student and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Read more: China attack illustrates U.S. gun law divide

Recently released surveillance video from the front of the Chenpeng school shows children and adults tried to fend off the attacker with brooms.

Authorities say 36-year-old Min Yongjun first stabbed an elderly woman in Chenpeng before breaking into the elementary school, Xinhua said.

Police said Min was driven to commit the attack by "doomsday" rumors, according to Xinhua. Authorities also said Min testified he was inspired by TV reports about a kindergarten killing in 2010.

"He thought he was doomed and hoped to do something to impress his existence upon the world before he died," police said, according to Xinhua.

Initial assessments suggest the attacker is mentally ill, the state-run Chinanews.com said, citing Guangshan county authorities.

China suffered a spate of knife and cleaver attacks targeting school children in 2010.

A number of measures were introduced at the time, including increased security at schools across the country and a regulation requiring people to register with their national ID cards when buying large knives.

But in Chenpeng, the only visible line of defense appeared to be elementary students and nearby adults with brooms.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 16, 2014 -- Updated 1237 GMT (2037 HKT)
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
April 13, 2014 -- Updated 1801 GMT (0201 HKT)
CNN's Brian Stelter talks with CCTV correspondent Jim Spellman on how the Chinese media has covered MH370's mystery.
China's economy has bested many others in just the past 10 years.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 0602 GMT (1402 HKT)
In China, users of the "Life Black Box" website can set up final farewells to their friends in case they suddenly die.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 0532 GMT (1332 HKT)
A recent university study claims Chinese micro-blogging activity might not be as vibrant as expected.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
Chinese art has been fetching some serious cash -- here's how we can elbow into the market
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
A Shanghainese collector paid $36 million for this tiny cup decorated with chickens.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 0657 GMT (1457 HKT)
Ben Richardson on corruption in China: a veil of secrecy shrouds the links between power and wealth.
China's economy is slowing and growth in 2014 could fall short of the government's official target, according to a CNNMoney survey of economists.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is the first foreigner to visit the Chinese aircraft carrier Liaoning.
April 7, 2014 -- Updated 0126 GMT (0926 HKT)
If the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 caused a rift in China-Malaysia relations, the two countries appear to have put it behind them.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 0517 GMT (1317 HKT)
Martin Jacques argues that in the twenty-first century, China will challenge our perception of what it is to be modern.
A new survey of university students in China shows where they most want to work. What are the dream employers for Chinese students?
April 2, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
What are President Xi Jinping's greatest goals as he visits the EU headquarters in Brussels?
Last year, thousands of Chinese tourists flocked to Yellowstone National Park to view the mountains, the buffalo and Old Faithful.
March 31, 2014 -- Updated 1238 GMT (2038 HKT)
A senior Bloomberg News journalist quit his role earlier this month, saying the "mishandling" by his bosses of a story critical of China was behind his departure.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1155 GMT (1955 HKT)
"The aim is to let [families of MH370 passengers] express anger while keeping them restrained," says a Chinese official.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1358 GMT (2158 HKT)
U.S. President Barack Obama's secret weapon in China? Michelle.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 0253 GMT (1053 HKT)
Private schools that employ humanistic pedagogy for young children are becoming popular in China. A look at the factors behind the boom and potential pitfalls.
ADVERTISEMENT