May 8, 2006
Gongyi, Henan, People’s Republic of China
Bai Ningyang (19, pictured) sets fire to a kindergarten classroom, killing 12 and wounding 5

Two days before the murders, Bai and at least one other villager got into a disagreement over “trivial matters” involving a villager stopping Bai from using a newly paved road. Later that same day Bai chased after the villager with a kitchen knife. When Bai’s father attempted to stop and punish his son, Bai held a 5-year-old at knifepoint before fleeing.

On May 8, Bai entered a privately-owned locally-operated kindergarten with two knives, three gas canisters, and a lighter. He forced the teacher and 21 children against a classroom wall before pouring gasoline on the floor, desks, children, and teacher. Bai ignited the gasoline and locked the door before escaping. He was apprehended the next day following a daylong manhunt.

Locals suggested the class was targeted because the teacher had allegedly rejected Bai’s advances, though authorities did not confirm this rumor.

Two children died at the scene and a further ten succumbed to their injuries. Bai was sentenced to death in 2007.

“河南巩义幼儿园放火案被告终审被判死刑.” China News. December 7, 2007. Accessed: May 8, 2019.
“Man kidnaps 19 pupils, subdued by police.” China Daily. May 26, 2006. Accessed: May 8, 2019.
“Suspect kindergarten arsonist captured.” China Daily. May 9, 2006. Accessed: May 8, 2019.
“China Orders Clampdown on Illegal Private Kindergartens Following Arson Attack.” CRI English. May 10, 2006. Accessed: May 8, 2019.
“Police capture suspect in school arson attack.” The Hartford Courant. May 10, 2006
“Kindergarten arson kills 3 kids.” China Daily. May 9, 2006. Accessed: May 8, 2019.

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