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BEIJING (AP) — Police fatally shot a man in northern China who was on his way to Beijing to ask the central government to help house and take care of his children and elderly mother, police and a lawyer said Wednesday.
The man's relatives received approval for the aid three days after the Saturday killing, the newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily said.
Lawyer Xie Yanyi, who is working with Xu Chunhe's family on the case, said Xu, his mother and three children were on their way to the capital when train station security officers in Harbin recognized them and barred them from buying tickets.
The family had visited Beijing several times seeking aid, and local media had reported their case. Local officials often try to block such trips to avoid drawing scrutiny from central authorities.
Southern Metropolis said Xu blocked other travelers at the security checkpoint but was subdued by police. Once released, he clashed with a police officer, who hit back with a baton, the newspaper said.
It said Xu then grabbed the baton and used it to beat the policeman before the officer drew a gun and shot him in his chest.
Xie said witness videos contradict that account but did not provide details.
Chinese with unsolved grievances often travel to the capital to attempt to petition national authorities about land seizures, labor disputes and other issues after making little progress with local officials. Southern Metropolis said Xu, who had medical conditions and had difficulty taking care of himself, had been trying for years to place his aging mother in a public nursing home and board his daughter and two sons at a state-run juvenile facility. China National Radio said his wife has psychological problems.
The children — all under age 10 — will be placed in a public orphanage, the newspaper reported.