At 8:50 pm on July 23 in Beijing, a woman was pushing a stroller on her way home. Her daughter was asleep. She stopped at a bus station to organize some of her things when, according to several witnesses interviewed by the Beijing Times, two men in a car asked the woman to move and let them park the car there. She refused. A quarrel erupted. A man dressed in gray jumped out of the car and rushed up to the woman. He pulled the woman's hair and slapped her across the face. Mr. Zhou, a witness, described the scene:
After the man in gray had beaten the woman for one minute, another man dressed in pink exited the vehicle and began hitting the woman as well. At that moment, the man in gray walked over to the stroller. He scooped up the girl, lifted her above his head and threw her fiercely to the ground.
It was all over in three minutes, after which the two men fled. The sleeping girl was silent throughout the whole process. She died at 11:00 pm on July 25, after two days in the hospital.
On July 24, the police arrested Han Lei, the man in gray who threw the girl to her death. Another man, surnamed Li, turned himself in on July 25. The Beijing News revealed that Han Lei had been convicted of stealing a car and sentenced to life in prison in 1996. His sentence was commuted five times for good behavior in jail, and he was released early. The man surnamed Li had been convicted of theft and sentenced to over 10 years in prison; he had been released in late 2012.
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After the girl's death was confirmed, many Chinese posted symbols of candles on Sina Weibo. One user posted two candles, saying "One is for the girl, dashed to death, the other is for our dying humanity."