A team of over 100 police officers spent three hours chasing and dodging shots fired by seven armed men in the south central province of Binh Thuan on Thursday night.
Colonel Nguyen Van Minh, deputy chief police of Binh Thuan who led the team assigned to close in on the men, said they were informed at 3:30pm that eight men traveling in one car had fired off several rounds of live ammunition in the course of a street confrontation in Ham Thuan Nam District.
The use of firearms in crime is rare in Vietnam. Though some of the responding officers were armed, they did not reportedly fire their weapons during the course of the chase and arrest.
When the eight men noticed that the police were closing in they began to flee.
Five ran down National Highway 1A and stopped a bus.
Police say the men planned to take the passengers hostages, but were foiled by a police ambush before they could board the vehicle.
Two other members sped away in their car, forcing police into an inter-province chase.
One of the crooks left the vehicle and ran into a prison at the border of Dong Nai Province where guards took him into custody.
The other, whom the police believe to be the gang's leader, ran into a private house armed with four military-grade firearms.
The police surrounded the home and asked him to surrender. He responded to each call by firing a series of gun shots, which did not hit anyone.
Three residents of the house managed to escape as soon as he entered the building.
The officers threw tear gar canisters into the building, forcing the suspect to climb into the house next door and then exit.
He was arrested at around 6pm, bleeding from a head injury he sustained during his daring escape attempt.
A source told Thanh Nien the gang was trying to take back money they'd lost in a recent cock fighting game.
The police seized four guns, thousands of US dollars and a large amount of Vietnamese currency from the suspects who range in age from 22 to 36 and hail from Binh Duong Province (outside Ho Chi Minh City) and Ben Tre Province in the Mekong Delta.
One member of the gang, identified only as Long, remains at large.