Colonel Pham Ngoc Thang, Deputy Director of  the Yen Bai Police, at the press briefing (Photo: VNA)
    
Yen Bai (VNA) - The August shooting of two high-level officials in Yen Bai was motivated by personal cause, said the local police on December 26.

In a press conference announcing the official investigation results of the unprecedented shooting that rocked the country, Yen Bai police concluded that the killer, Do Cuong Minh, then head of the Yen Bai Forest Protection Sub-Department (FPSD), killed two of the province’s top leaders due to “his frustration over the staff shuffle” before turning the gun on himself. The FPSD, or the forest ranger unit, of which Minh was at the helm was planned to be merged with the municipal Forestry Sub-Department.

The police ruled out possible motives like political or economic conflicts or twists in love affairs which triggered the killing of provincial Party Committee Secretary Pham Duy Cuong and the provincial People’s Council Chairman Ngo Ngoc Tuan on August 18. Tuan was also the head of the Yen Bai Party Committee’s Organisation Board.

Responding to questions on whether the triple-shooting was involved with corruption, Yen Bai Police Deputy Director Pham Ngoc Thang said that the police already investigated that angle, but it did not fall within the jurisdiction of the police to announce at the press briefing.

Searches at Cuong’s office found 50 million VND (2,200 USD) in a file folder while a safe in Tuan’s room held 100,000 USD and 1.5 billion VND in cash together with four gold rings and jewellery that is yet to be analysed.

The 52-year-old shooter was said to have driven to the Party Committee office at about 6.30am, and waited outside Cuong’s office. When Cuong arrived, Minh followed him into the room and used a Russian-made Makarov pistol K59 to shoot him four times.

Minh then drove his car to the adjacent municipal Party Committee’s Organisation Board, which was about 150m away from Cuong’s office. After waiting for guests to leave Tuan’s office, Minh came into the room and opened fire three times at the leader.

He then turned the gun on himself.

Cuong and Tuan were pronounced dead later the same day.

The gun was given to Minh by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as arms to the forest rangers.

Next to Minh’s body in Tuan’s office, the police found a 1.5l bottle containing petrol inside a bag, as well as a K59 reloading box holding eight cartridges and a gas lighter.-VNA