Zhao Xiaodong
Born ca. 1963

January 17, 1987(1987-01-17) (aged 23)
Jili district, People's Republic of China

Cause of death Shot by police
Attack information
Date January 4/17, 1987
Location(s) Wuzhi county, Shibin & Jili district, People's Republic of China
Killed 8
Injured 9
Weapon(s) Type 64 semi-automatic pistol

Zhao Xiaodong (Chinese: 赵晓东) was a Chinese who killed eight people and wounded nine others in Wuzhi county, in Shibin, a village in Jiyuan county, and in Jili district, People's Republic of China on January 4 and January 17, 1987, before being shot dead by police.[1]

Zhao, a former soldier, worked as communicator for the Wuzhi county authorities. His relationship with several of the other cadre members was very bad and he repeatedly exploited his position to steal public property. On January 4, 1987, at 1 a.m., he was again found stealing by the county authorities, for which he was severely criticised. Furious about this, and angry that apparently others were allowed to steal, whereas he was not, he decided to take revenge. At 4 a.m. he armed himself with a hammer, snuck into the bedroom of the county vice secretary, knocked him insensible, and took a Type 64 semi-automatic pistol and more than 90 rounds of ammunition. Subsequently, the 23-year-old went to the meeting room of the standing committee, the storage room, as well as other premises, poured out gasoline and set it on fire. He then shot dead three of those people he disliked, seriously injured another, and fled.[2][3][4]

After the attack more than 80,000 people from the party, government, police, and military were mobilised to conduct an extensive search for Zhao, and 421 checkpoints were set up to catch him. During this operation, which afterwards came under close scrutiny for its inept handling, one innocent person was killed and two others were injured, while Zhao himself was able to evade capture for 13 days. On January 17, at 1 a.m., he eventually appeared in Shibin (柿槟村), a village in Jiyuan county (济源县), where he encountered a farmer in a wheat field. When the farmer recognised and tried to apprehend him, Zhao shot and wounded him and afterwards escaped towards Luoyang. Local authorities were soon informed about the incident and orders were given to police and the People's Armed Police to intercept Zhao at the Yellow River Highway Bridge (黄河公路桥位), located in the Jili district (吉利区) 30 km north of the city. By 4 a.m. they had erected checkpoints on both sides of the bridge and around 11 a.m. a member of the county cadre arrived, who was able to identify Zhao, however, at 12:15 p.m. most of the officers went eating lunch, leaving only the platoon leader and five others to guard the posts.[2][3][4]

At 1 p.m. Zhao boarded a bus at Podi (坡底村), a village one kilometre north of the bridge, and a quarter hour later it approached the structure from the northern end, where it was stopped by police for inspection. The county cadre soon spotted Zhao and in panic rushed out of the vehicle, yelling that he was on the bus, whereupon Zhao drew his pistol, shouting: "Quick, drive! Drive!",[5] at the same time firing a shot at a police officer, injuring him. The bus driver tried to use the gunman's distraction to escape, however, Zhao noticed this, shot him as well, and afterwards threatened the other passengers that he would kill anyone who dared to move.[6] He then put himself behind the steering wheel and drove towards the bridge, while one of the guards outside opened fire with a Type-56 assault rifle, hitting him in the cheek and penetrating several of the bus's tires. 600 metres down the road Zhao finally lost control over the vehicle and crashed into the bridge railing, leaving it stuck, with the right front wheel hanging off the bridge.[2][3][4]

Soon the bus was surrounded by members of the police and armed police, with a squadron approaching it, sheltered behind a postal car. Halting 30 metres from the bus they ordered Zhao to drop his gun, however, he opened fire and threw a bomb at them, causing hand injuries to one of the officers. In the ensuing gunfight with police, Zhao was seriously injured, but still continued to shoot at his besiegers, while several of the passengers tried to seize the opportunity to escape. Zhao noticed this, shot several rounds at them, forcing them to take cover behind their seats, and then resumed firing at police, injuring the squadron leader in the process. Witnessing the wounding of their leader and hearing Zhao shooting the passengers, the armed police forces indiscriminately opened fire at the bus and continued to shoot, until they were hastily ordered to stop by their team leader and instructor. Shortly after the shooting stopped a male passenger jumped out of one of the bus windows.[2][3][4]

At approximately 1:40 p.m. the director of the Jili branch office, the city police captain, and others arrived at the scene, ordered to cease all shooting, and to get a fire truck and a truck loaded with cement bags. At 2:20 p.m. members of the armed police eventually used the cement truck as cover to approach the bus, while the fire truck sprayed it with foam, to impair Zhao's view. Zhao continued to shoot at both vehicles, while the armed police returned fire. During the gunfight a second passenger managed to escape. Ten minutes later, when the police officers saw no more movement inside the bus, they stormed the vehicle through the rear window and discovered Zhao's body, who had been hit by sixteen bullets. By the time of his death he had only three rounds of ammunition left. The surviving passengers were rescued and at 2:40 p.m. the siege was finally declared over.[2][3][4]

Overall 68 members of the police and armed police participated in the siege, during which one police officer and two members of the armed police were wounded. In total they fired 528 rounds at the bus, leaving all of its windows broken and 375 bullet holes in the vehicle's body. Of the 17 people who were originally in the bus beside Zhao, Zhao killed five and wounded three, while seven others were killed by bullets fired by police and armed police, and the two remaining escaped by jumping out of the vehicle. Additionally, ten other people were accidentially injured during various stages of the siege.[2][3][4]


  1. 吉利区地方史志编纂委员会: 洛阳市吉利区志; 光明日报出版社, 1991. (p. 21)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 洛阳黄河大桥武装劫持人质案--你不知道的20个中国大案之三, (August 15, 2013)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 1987年洛阳黄河桥上案, (February 2, 2014)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 上个世纪八十年代洛阳黄河大桥劫持客车案, (August 11, 2015)
  5. “快开车,快开车!”
  6. “谁动就打死谁”

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