A Chinese cattle herder will stand trial in Russia for stabbing three colleagues to death, Zabaikalsky region prosecutors announced Tuesday.
A man identified as 54-year-old Zhang Xichen had been working at a farm in the town of Krasnokamensk, near Russia's border with China.
According to investigators, Zhang was attending a party when one of his colleagues began to heckle him — telling the herder that the owner of their farm was planning to sell all of his livestock, leaving Zhang jobless.
“What was said [at the party] deeply affected the old cattle herder; he needed the money he was earning to care for his sick wife and to help his children at home,” the prosecutors' statement said.
Zhang drew a knife from his boot and attacked three of his colleagues — all compatriots of his, investigators allege. Two of them died on the spot, and a third was seriously injured.
The suspect then allegedly tore into to the main house, where the farm's owner lived, and stabbed her 13 times, killing her.
It remained unclear from the prosecutors' statement whether there had been any truth to Zhang's heckling colleague's claims that his job was on the line.
After the attacks, Zhang called his son in China, said goodbye, and then slashed his own throat and lodged the knife into his stomach. He survived.
Zhang now faces murder charges. If convicted, he could face up to life in prison.
“During the preliminary investigation, the accused displayed sincere regret about what he did,” the statement said.