Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – An official of the Yên Bái Province’s forest ranger team yesterday shot and killed two provincial leaders before turning the gun on himself in a shooting case authorities are calling “especially serious” and “unprecedented” in the country.
Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc made a trip to the northern mountainous province to issue direct instructions for the investigation into the incident.
Đỗ Cường Minh, head of the forest ranger unit of Yên Bái Province, shot Phạm Duy Cường, the provincial party secretary, and Ngô Ngọc Tuấn, chairman of the province’s people’s council and head of the province’s personnel committee, before a regular meeting of the people’s council was to begin.
He then shot himself in the head. All three people were rushed to a local hospital but succumbed to their injuries.
A press conference regarding the case was held by local authorities.
Director of the province’s Police Department, Major General Đặng Trần Chiêu said the incident happened quickly. Minh entered Cường’s office first, and after shooting him with a K59 gun left for Tuấn’s room. After shooting Tuấn, Minh shot himself in the same room. A total of eight bullets were used in the attack, Chiêu said.
The two victims: Phạm Duy Cường (left) and Ngô Ngọc Tuấn (right).
He added that Minh was legally equipped with a gun as he was a part of the forest ranger team.
Chairwoman of the province’s People’s Committee Phạm Thị Thanh Trà said the shooter was known to be of a calm demeanour.
“He’s a nice person and always fulfills his tasks. Maybe there was one minute when he couldn’t control himself,” she said.
Regarding the question of whether a personnel organisational issue might be behind the shooting, Trà said she doubted it.
“We do plan to merge the forest ranger unit with the forestry unit in the coming time, but it’s a totally normal policy. We have been strict with following correct procedures, and we do care about the feeling of our colleagues,” she said.
Trà said the incident was a “horrible one” for the province.
Major General Chiêu said according to the Criminal Code, since the shooter also died after killing the victims, there will be no prosecution procedures.
Phạm Duy Cường, 58, the province’s party secretary since 2010, had been re-elected to the position in 2015. He had served in a number of posts, such as director of the Yên Bái Cement Factory and of the provincial planning and investment department.
Ngô Ngọc Tuấn, 52, was elected as chairman of the provincial legislature in June.
Đỗ Cường Minh, 53, had been appointed head of the forest ranger unit of Yên Bái Province in 2014. In a ceremony to receive his title, he made a promise to local authorities that he would lead the forest ranger force to protect the forests in the province, which cover more than 400,000 hectares.—VNS