The most wanted man in China has been shot dead by police. Zhou Kehua was accused of gunning down a bank customer in the Shapingba district of the vast city of Chongquing on Friday. And of robbing and murdering several more people in the last few years. Described as a 'Class A' serial killer by the Ministry of Public Security, police even offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest and chiefs even took the rare step of appealing to the public through the state-run TV station to help catch him.

One woman said: "I'm very happy (to hear the news of Zhou's death). He was such a savage."

"It is great news indeed. We feel safe now, with him gone."

So serious were his crimes in a country with negligible levels of gun incidents that hundreds of soldiers were sent up into the mountains with sniffer dogs to be briefed.

Police were out in force on the streets setting up temporary check points and making stop checks on passenger buses to see if he was heading out of town.

But he hadn't got far, officers shot Zhou Kehua dead just before seven o'clock this morning near a village in Qinjia-gang town in the same district of Chongquing where he carried out the final crime that sealed his fate.