A police officer has appeared on television to scotch a rumor that he had been mistaken for killer Zhou Kehua and shot dead in Chongqing last Tuesday.
Online rumors said Zhou was still at large and the man shot dead by police on August 14 was a policeman in plain clothes sent from neighboring Hunan Province to take part in the manhunt.
Some people posted a photograph of the police officer, who looked like Zhou, and compared the photo with that of the man lying in a pool of blood after the shootout.
The officer looked so similar to the wanted killer that the rumor quickly spread that Zhou was still alive and it was the policeman who had been shot dead.
"It is ridiculous because I have had no business with the killer," Duan Zhipeng, the officer, told Hunan Province's television station from Changsha on Monday.
He said the photograph posted online was taken several years ago during an outing of his police bureau. It was later put on the bureau's website.
A DNA test and fingerprint comparison confirmed absolutely that the man killed by Chongqing police was Zhou, the city's police force said on Sunday.
All the Hunan police dispatched to Chongqing to hunt for Zhou had returned safely to Changsha, police in the provincial capital also confirmed.
Three portraits of the dead Zhou posted online showed blood on his face and a bullet wound to his right temple but Chongqing police said they had not released the photographs.
Rumors that Zhou was still alive began over the weekend after police closed access to the southwest municipality's Gele Mountain.
The rumors claimed that the killer must still be at large in the mountain area where police and military personnel had been searching before his final shootout with police.
However, police have said they were just searching for any hideouts Zhou might have used for further clues to the killer's activities. They were also still searching for a rifle Zhou had stolen after killing a sentry outside a barracks in Chongqing in 2009.
Zhou's ex-wife said Zhou once told her the gun was buried on the mountain when questioned by police after his death.
Zhou, 42, killed 11 people over the past eight years, usually targeting people who had withdrawn large sums of money from banks.