Police in Phu Quoc in southern Vietnam Sunday shot a drug addict, who died later, to rescue a baby he threatened to drown in a water tank.
Nguyen Van Huu was shot once in his stomach and died a few hours later due to excessive bleeding, the police said.
The 26-year-old was screaming on the street in his neighborhood at around 3 a.m.
When a neighbor opened his door to investigate, Huu ran into the house, hit a woman on the head with a brick and snatched her two-week-old baby.
He held the baby by one leg and kept the brick close to her head, threatening to kill her if anyone left the room. The baby’s grandfather managed to sneak out and call the police.
A group of officers arrived and spent nearly two hours in vain persuading Huu to release the baby.
“He looked fierce… He kept swinging my daughter close to the ground though we begged him to stop,” the child’s father was quoted as saying by news website VnExpress.
After a while the baby was no longer able to cry, eyewitnesses said.
When Huu brought her near a water tank, Le Minh Chanh, the police chief of Duong Dong town, fired a warning shot in the air.
But Huu ignored it and tossed her into the water.
Chanh then shot him before rescuing the child.
“He showed no signs he would cooperate,” Chanh told reporters.
“He got more aggravated every time we asked him to stop.
“I believe what I did was right.”
The police took Huu, the baby and her mother to hospital, but only the latter two survived.
Kien Giang Province's top police officer, Bui Tuyet Minh, also said that the shooting was "necessary" because the child's life was in danger.
Local officers said Huu had no history with the victims' family but was notorious for picking up fights with strangers on the street.
He seemed to be having hallucinations because of using drugs during the Sunday attack, they said.