The Gia Lai Province police Sunday arrested a 39-year-old man for allegedly killing four people and injuring three others.
Vu Van Dan, suspected of mental illness, was found at a coffee plant near his house more than three hours after the murder spree.
According to the police, Dan and his wife Nguyen Thi Lan went to the house of a neighbor, Le Trung Dung, to demand repayment of a debt.
But unable to get the money back, the two returned home where a quarrel broke out between them, and Dan attacked her with a machete.
Lan managed to escape with her son after sustaining a minor injury in her hand.
At around 2 p.m. Dan went out to find his wife but instead vent his fury on other people he accosted.
He allegedly ended up killing his sister-in-law, Le Thi Thom, 33, her eight-year-old daughter Vu Thi Van and two neighbors, Dang Dinh Van, 57, and Nguyen Thi Ngoc Lien, 41.
After the killings, he continued to attack people and injured his brother Vu Van Tuyen, 33, and two other neighbors, Vu Cong Doanh, 32, and Nguyen Thi Minh, 52.
The three injured people were taken to Gia Lai General Hospital with serious injuries.
Police arrested Dan at 5:15 p.m. while he was hiding in a coffee plantation some three kilometers from the crime site.
Vu Van Lau, director of the Gia Lai police, said Dan could have a mental problem.
Another sister-in-law, Pham Thi Hao, said he does have a mental illness.
“He complained of headaches and showed strange symptoms. When he was examined at the hospital, doctors prescribed some medicines and told his family to closely monitor him.”
His father Vu Van Chan said recently Dan has been burning incense often and running around in the house.
At the police station, Dan confessed to the killings, saying: “I drank before committing the crimes. I don’t remember how many people I attacked but I am regretful now.”
He said he attacked his wife because she had refused to ask the neighbor to repay the debt, local media reported.
He claimed the others he attacked either owed him money or had insulted him.
There has been a spate of multiple killings recently.
On August 12 a 26-year-old man in Yen Bai Province allegedly killed four people of a family over farmland disputes.
He was arrested three days later at a forest.
Last month a 24-year-old man in Nghe An Province was arrested for killing four people of a family, including a married woman who had not requited his love.
On July 7 a 24-year-old man allegedly killed six people of a family, also over unrequited love.