A second victim dies in Hong Kong park shooting sparked by HK$8 million inheritance row

The suspect is believed to have assembled the pistol herself using parts which were mailed to her home in Kin Ming Estate, Tsuen Kwan O.
The suspect is believed to have assembled the pistol herself using parts which were mailed to her home in Kin Ming Estate, Tsuen Kwan O.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

HONG KONG - A second victim on Wednesday (June 26)  died of gun wounds a day after a 44-year-old female bodyguard opened fire at him and three other elderly relatives in an inheritance dispute, according to Hong Kong media.

The 62-year-man is believed to be the uncle of the suspect. His sister, a 80-year-old woman, died on Tuesday afternoon, hours after the shooting occurred at a public park in Hong Kong. Two others were also wounded in Tuesday's shooting.  

Hong Kong's Apple Daily reported that the suspect, identified as Ada Tsim Sum Kit, is the niece of the four elderly victims. She had arranged to meet her aunts and uncles, aged between 60 and 80, in Quarry Bay Park to settle a dispute over how to divide the proceeds of a sale of a HK$8 million (US$1 million) apartment left behind by their mother.

The suspect, who takes her mother's surname, believed her aunts and uncles had unfairly denied her late mother a share of the family inheritance, which included the property in a middle-class neighbourhood. Her mother, the eldest of five siblings, died in 2015.

Police have classified the case as murder and attempted murder.

The shooting took place at Quarry Bay Park at around 3.07pm on Tuesday. When the suspect was later arrested at Cityplaza Four in the nearby Taikoo Shing, she was still carrying the gun, along with some 40 rounds of ammunition.

The crime scene is close to many office towers, a popular shopping mall and a major residential development.

A police source told South China Morning Post the weapon and ammunition may have been ordered online and smuggled into Hong Kong by mail.

The suspect is believed to have assembled the pistol herself using parts which were mailed to her home in Kin Ming Estate, Tsuen Kwan O.

Although the police force's firearms examination division had yet to confirm the model, an insider believed it was an Italian-made Beretta 950 Jetfire, based on a picture of the gun taken at the scene.

 

The insider said the pistol, made of an aluminium alloy, was not common in Hong Kong.

He suspected that Tsim had ordered the parts online and smuggled them into the city by post, part by part.

"I don't think you can fool the customs authority by arriving in Hong Kong with an actual pistol or by mailing it to the city in one piece," the insider told the Post.

Another source familiar with the firearm said a loaded Beretta 950 Jetfire weighed only about 300 grams, making it easy to conceal and carry.

The suspect, a certified bodyguard who used to work in mainland China, was taken to her home on Tuesday night for a search.

The Post reported that the suspect ran a security company called BodyGuard01.

She is featured in photos and promotional videos on the company’s website, which advertises her as Hong Kong’s first overseas-trained female bodyguard and a member of the International Bodyguard Association. Some of the footage and many of the photos show Tsim holding and firing a gun.

Officers on Tuesday collected three suspected toy guns and documents following a three-hour search.

The most common gun in Hong Kong is the Smith & Wesson Model 10, the 38 calibre pistol carried by each beat police officer, according to the Post.

The 35-ounce gun has been made in the United States since 1899 and is used by law enforcers around the world. It can hold six rounds.

In Hong Kong, a licence from the police commissioner is needed to legally possess arms or ammunition.

Anyone caught in possession of a firearm without a licence can lead to up to 14 years in prison and a fine of HK$100,000.

Hong Kong's security minister John Lee told the Legislative Council in May that the total number of air smuggling cases detected by the local customs authority, including cases through cargo, packages and travellers, surged from 4,141 in 2013 to 7,786 in 2017.

About 70 of the cases involved firearms, ammunition and weapons last year, compared with 68 in 2016, 76 in 2015 and 99 in 2014.

Citing the World Customs Organisation's global counterterrorism strategy, the Security Bureau said the main mode of illicit trafficking for small arms and light weapons was express courier and mail services.

The last time a gun was fired during a crime in the city was in 2015, when an armed robber shot a Tsim Sha Tsui shop assistant and made off with nine Patek Philippe watches valued at HK$5.5 million (US$700,000), reported the Post.

In 2006, three suspected triad members were wounded in a predawn shoot-out in Tsim Sha Tsui when they were among a group of five who had just left a private club in Austin Avenue after watching the World Cup final.

Police said they were ambushed by two armed men. One of them fired four shots from a shotgun.