Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office in Zhubei City, Hsinchu County, Taiwan. Photo: Google Maps

A police officer in Taiwan who shot and killed a Vietnamese migrant in August last year has been ordered to stand trial for negligent homicide.

The officer, identified only by his surname of Chen, fired nine shots at Nguyen Quoc Phi, 27, after the former factory worker had attacked two drivers at 1150 Zhonghua Road in Zhubei City, Hsinchu County.

Chen, 22, who was attached to the Fenggang Precinct of Hsinchu County Police Bureau, had responded to the incident with an officer from the Civil Defense surnamed Li, The Liberty Times reported, citing the indictment.

Police said Nguyen attacked Li, fracturing his nose, and continued to throw stones at the officers and resist arrest even after being spayed with pepper. He refused to lie flat on the ground, as ordered by Chen, who then fired nine shots at Nguyen, allegedly to stop him from fleeing in a police car.

An autopsy found that Nguyen had consumed alcohol and crystal meth, which might have accounted for his unstable mental state and his failure to heed the officers’ orders.

Hsinchu District Prosecutors Office said on Tuesday that as Nguyen was shirtless, it was apparent he was not any carrying weapons, and he was not likely to succeed in stealing the police car.

While the circumstances warranted Chen’s use of a firearm, prosecutors found that the officer had used excessive force against Nguyen. It was suggested he should have considered firing warning shots, shooting at the car tires or aiming at Nguyen’s lower legs. Shots to Nguyen’s  buttocks had caused traumatic bleeding in his back and abdomen.

Read: Runaway migrant worker from Vietnam shot dead in Taiwan

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