HONG KONG (AFP) - A jobless murder suspect was found dead after exchanging fire with Hong Kong police at a high-rise residential block early on Sunday and is believed to have shot himself, officers said.
Police said several shots were fired during a standoff that lasted around an hour. They said the man was found dead when police burst into his flat and is thought to have committed suicide.
Television showed a horde of armed police tactical unit officers, some of them wearing helmets and others with gas masks and bulletproof vests, arriving in the Choi Hung district Sunday morning, while residents and journalists were shepherded away.
Two officers at one point were lowered by ropes down the exterior of the block to the floor housing the suspect's flat.
Such dramatic scenes are rare in Hong Kong, a city with a low crime rate where gun crime is rare.
At one point during the standoff, a man was seen standing at the edge of a window, pointing a gun to his head and mumbling, before moving back into the flat.
"The sound of a door being broken down... was followed by a number of suspected shots, with smoke and sparks seen coming from the flat at Lok Shing House, Kowloon West," the South China Morning Post reported on its website.
Superintendent Chau Hin-hung said police forced their way into the man's apartment but found him unconscious on the floor.
"We believe he committed suicide, presumably with his own gun," he told reporters.
He identified the man as a 51-year-old jobless Hong Kong resident who was a suspect in an earlier murder.
The Post said a 43-year-old air conditioning technician had on Saturday been gunned down at a lift lobby in the same block following a heated argument.