Chongqing police insisted Sunday that cold-blooded serial killer Zhou Kehua was shot dead amid massive public suspicion that he is still at large.
"Online information speculating that Zhou Kehua was not shot dead is absolutely misunderstanding and rumor," the Chongqing Municipal Public Security Bureau said on its official Sina Weibo account.
The brutal robber, who had killed 10 people since 2004, was gunned down by two police officers on August 14.
However, many locals suspected that the person killed was not the fugitive, as no full facial pictures were released by the police, only one showing the side of his face.
Such concerns were amplified after mountains in the city were sealed on Saturday, including Gele Mountain, where Zhou was suspected of hiding after his last murder on August 10. Authorities explained the move was a fire hazard prevention measure.
Chongqing police revealed on Weibo that they are still searching the places where Zhou had taken refuge and asked for citizens' support.
Police authorities in Shapingba district, where Zhou was killed, said on their Weibo account that it was "ridiculous" to still hold a skeptical attitude after DNA and fingerprint tests.
Despite their killing of the criminal, police were still faced with a credibility crisis.
During the Global Times reporter's visit, many locals insisted that Zhou killed himself at the last minute. Local police denied this but did not show any proof.
A local police officer surnamed Wu told the Global Times that they were aware of the questions held by the public, but follow-up investigations would take some time.