A shooting shattered the early morning calm in Changhua City on Thursday when a group of armed men burst into a building and unleashed a hail of gunfire.
The incident took place in a building on the city’s Chongshan Road. According to a police report on the incident, a total of 49 rounds were fired by a group of seven or eight men who entered the building holding handguns.
A preliminary police investigation pointed to power struggles between rival criminal gangs as being behind the shooting.
According to the police report, three men were gathered in the house chatting and drinking tea at about half past midnight on Thursday.
Witnesses said seven or eight men then burst into the house and opened fire with no warning.
Report said the men raked the walls and ceiling of the building’s living room with gunshots, firing off 49 rounds in just over a minute.
During the barrage of gunfire, a man surnamed Kuo (郭) was shot in the back and another man, surnamed Liang (梁), was hit in the left forearm by a bullet.
After being taken to Changhua City’s Hsiuchuan Memorial Hospital for emergency medical treatment, hospital officials said the two men were in stable condition and were not in any danger.
The police report said the perpetrators of the shooting left in two cars headed south.
The scene of the shooting was formerly a factory building, which was later rented to a man named Tu Shih-hsiung, who converted it into a place for hosting gatherings of his friends.
Tu was not at the scene when the shooting occurred.
However, police said that Tu was one of three men who were arrested and served a jail sentence in connection with a shooting in March 1997.
As Thursday’s shooting also involved Tu, the police have said they wish to question him over the incident.
The owner of a nearby factory, whose premises were robbed about a month ago, said that when he heard the commotion on Thursday he thought the thieves had returned, and was heading out to try and catch them when he realized the sounds he had heard were gunfire, so he dodged back inside and hid in his house.
A police special investigation unit said authorities are searching for the men who carried out the shooting, and that the current line of investigation was concentrating on potential disagreements between rival criminal gangs over the profits from their illegal operations.