The incident occurred in Anshui, southwestern Guizhou province on July 26 in the early afternoon when the streets were packed with shoppers and passersby.
According to several reports three Chengguan officials, who are city enforcement officers charged with policing urban by-laws, attacked the vegetable street vendor killing him. All major news agencies in China, for example the Macao Daily , reported the incident saying the usual in such incidents
“Guizhou provincial government and party committee take great notice of it, require s swift investigation, handling with a strict adherence to the law, and a maintenance of social stability.”
(Warning the following article contains very graphic images of the incident. I have linked to another report at end of this entry that does not carry images)
According to a report from the "Ministry of Tofu", a weblog covering social justice issues in China,
Thousands of civilians at the scene exploded in indignation and surrounded the chengguan squad. Then in order for the chengguan to break out of the encirclement, riot police arrived with shields, tear gas and water cannon to suppress the protesters. Even gun shots were heard, according to a micro blogger. Several civilians were brutally injured during the clash with the police, at least three, judging by all pictures available on the web, with much blood on their faces due to blows to their heads.
China's Chengguan are much detested throughout China for their bullying and sometimes extreme violence, particularly against unlicensed street vendors and migrant workers. Often they will destroy all of the street vendor's goods and trolleys as well as subject them to verbal and physical abuse.
Shanghai Daily Crowds block street over death of street vendor