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Drunk man slashes seven people, leaving four dead in central Vietnam

Monday, August 24, 2015, 19:04 GMT+7
Drunk man slashes seven people, leaving four dead in central Vietnam
Vu Van Dan is seen escorted by police officers in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai on August 23, 2015.

Police in the Central Highlands province of Gia Lai have arrested a drunk man, allegedly with a history of mental issues, after he slashed seven people, leaving four dead, on Sunday. Vu Van Dan, 49, was detained after reportedly committing the crime yesterday afternoon, leaving two victims dead on the spot while two others passed away later in hospital, Colonel Vu Van Lau, director of the provincial Police Department, said. Investigators initially said Dan may suffer from mental problems, Col. Lau told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper. The murder took place in Phu Vinh Hamlet, Ia Bang Commune, Chu Prong District. Dan is a local coffee grower who is married and has two children, police said. According to an initial police report, yesterday morning Dan asked his wife, Nguyen Thi Lan, to go to the house of Vu Cong Doanh, a neighbor, to ask Doanh to pay his debt to Dan. At 9:00 am, Lan returned home and told Dan that she could not recover the debt from Doanh. A quarrel broke out between the couple, and he then grabbed a knife to chase Lan and slashed her in the hand while she was trying to escape, bringing their two children along. Hearing Lan’s cries for help, Nguyen Thi Lien, 41, a hired worker from the south-central province of Binh Dinh, rushed to the scene and Dan slashed her to death on the spot. Dan ran to the mountainous field of Dang Dinh Van, 57, a neighbor, and killed him with a slash. He then rushed toward the house of Nguyen Thi Thom, 33, Dan’s sister-in-law, and on the way there, he slashed his younger brother, Vu Van Tuyen, and a neighbor named Minh. When reaching Thom’s house, Dan knifed her and her daughter, and then escaped with two knives tainted with blood in his hands after seeing police arriving at the scene.  Dan ran toward National Highway 12, but after a chase of about 1.5km, police captured him. All the injured people were taken to the Hoang Anh Gia Lai Hospital for emergency treatment, but Thom and her daughter died later. Pham Thi Hao, another sister-in-law of Dan, said the man has a history of mental issues. For a time before he committed the crime, Dan often complained about headaches and behaved abnormally at times, Hao said. Dan’s family took him to a hospital and doctors gave him a prescription and asked his relatives to keep a close watch on him, she added. Dan told investigators that he had drunk before committing the crime. “I could not clearly remember slashing people, but I feel regretful for my act,” Dan said. Police are continuing to investigate the case.

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