I’m not a timid man. Generally speaking I don’t get overtly nervous in most situations. However, any time I see the financial protection services folk, clad in their somewhat comical blue combats, and armed with a tube of a gun, I get shaky.

These guys, whose job it is to protect transfers of money between banks and to guard ATM repairs, look to be fresh off the playground for all their youth, and embody a cold sternness that is chilly to witness.

It’s hard not to see that they take their job quite seriously, but at the same time it’s hard to ignore that they look like kids with guns – and that’s just stupidly dangerous, as Ji Cheng could most certainly attest to, had he not been shot in the face by one.

Via Danwei:

bankshooting01.jpgIn the afternoon of 7 April, Ji Cheng gave Zhang Yong a phone call telling her that a developer had some work and he needed to hurry to the bank to withdraw some money to take someone to dinner. Ji Cheng promised her he’d be home before 8. After hanging up, Ji Cheng and his friend from work, Li Zhenghua, went to the ATM at the Sujiatun branch of China Construction Bank to withdraw money. He withdrew 1500 yuan, and gave 1000 to Li Zhenghua (Li said that this was money Ji Cheng owed him).

What happened after that Zhang Yong learned from witnesses she found at the scene. After withdrawing money, Ji Cheng hurried toward the exit with Li Zhenghua. Suddenly a guard shouted, “Don’t leave!” Ji Cheng did know what was happening. He explained, I’m in a hurry. The guard said, “Think you’re tough? Take another step and I’ll shoot you!” That guard had no gun on his person, so Ji Cheng did not pay him any mind. He said, “I’ll take another step and see what you’ll do!” He took hold of Li Zhenghua and walked toward the exit. Seeing that he would not be dissuaded, the guard shouted outside, “Guard!” Then another guard charged in and shot Ji Cheng.

Ji Cheng took the bullet in his face and fell to the ground. There were three other people – a man and two women – in the room, and their bodies were splattered with blood.

According to Ji Cheng’s sister-in-law Yan Danmei, she closely inspected the body afterward. The bullet had entered near the left side of Ji Cheng’s nose and exited through his right temple. The hole was about the size of a one-yuan coin.

The report went on to say that guards are over-worked and underpaid (less than 1,000 RMB/$130 US per month) – and well, if you ask me, that’s just the absolute last person you want to arm and put in any sort of position of power.


  1. I know that feeling. There is a crosswalk not far from my place that has a Chinese bank next to ot. Every now and then it happens the money transport guys park there when I wait for the traffic light to turn green. I always try to keep at least a tree between them and me as I’m not sure there are any safety pals (is that the right word?) on.

  2. It’s funny as I had always heard that the guns were fake, or didn’t have ammo in them – Mr. Ji gave his life to prove otherwise.

  3. oh… so those guns are real! i don’t know much about guns, and when i have seen those guard’s guns at close range before they have always seemed so comically thick and badly-made, so i presumed they were indeed ‘toy guns’.

    now i know different, i won’t walk by so closely in future!

  4. Ryan,did I ever tell you about the dream I had where I was Chinese and got shot in the face?
    ask Justin if you don’t believe me. No joke.

    (That dream was before I came to China, and you’d think it woulda kept me outta here)

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