[VIDEO] 21-Year-Old College Student Stabs And Kills 4 People In Taipei Metro

A knife-wielding attacker went on a stabbing spree aboard a Taipei subway train Wednesday, killing four people and wounding 21 others, police said.

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Parents Of Taiwan's Subway Attacker Say "He Should Be Sentenced To Death"

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The tearful parents of the man who killed four people in a stabbing spree in the Taipei subway apologized Tuesday to victims' families and asked for him to be executed as soon as possible. The mother and father of Cheng Chieh, 21, were mobbed by reporters and some relatives of those killed or injured when they met the public for the first time since the bloodshed on Wednesday last week.

Escorted by police, Cheng's weeping parents kneeled in front of reporters and a crowd that had gathered at Jiangzicui metro station in New Taipei to mark the exact time when the attack took place seven days ago.

Reporters surround Cheng Chieh's parents outside Jiangzicui MRT station, May 27.

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Wearing hats and face masks, the couple prostrated themselves three times at the subway train station outside Taipei where the college student was arrested. "Although he is our child, the crime he committed is unforgivable," Cheng's sobbing father told reporters. "I think he should be sentenced to death... he should face it himself. Only by so doing may the pains inflicted on the victims and the wounded and their families be slightly eased."

The father urged judges to pass sentence as soon as possible. "We hope Cheng Chieh can act in a correct manner during his next life," he added. The families of some of the dead and injured said they would accept the couple's apologies while others termed them insincere, according to TV reports.

Visitors lay flowers at a makeshift memorial marking the end of the first seven days of the traditional Chinese mourning period for those killed in the last week's knife attack aboard a subway train in Taipei

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In response, the mother of the youngest victim Chang Cheng-han, a 26-year-old graduate student at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU), said Chen's parents failed to educate their son well and had caused serious problems in the society. “Family education is very important,” Chang's mother reiterated. If Cheng's parents really want to offer an apology, they should go to the victims' mourning halls, Chang's mother said. “However, my son will not return to life,” she lamented.

Chang's father also said that an apology was meaningless and could not ease his pain. He said he can only hope that there will be no recurrences of such an incident in Taiwan. Chang was set to obtain a master's degree in business administration and international business from NCKU in Tainan City this summer. When the attack took place, he was in Taipei for a job interview.

WATCH: Taipei Metro attacker caught on video

The video is from 21 May 2014, when a 21-year-old college student, identified as Cheng Chieh, went on stabbing spree on a Taipei Metro train

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Moments after his train left a station in Taipei on Wednesday, a young Taiwanese man randomly stabbed passengers before his violent fury ended when he was forced to the ground, police said.

At least four people were killed and more than 20 injured in the incident, the first such attack since the East Asian nation's mass rapid transit system opened in 1996

Paramedics are seen tending to a victim at a subway station in Taipei, Taiwan.

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According to police, the suspect, a 21-year-old college student, began attacking people 20 seconds after his train left Longshan Temple Station in Taipei. Staff were alerted something was wrong after people hit an emergency button, and the train stopped at the next station, Jiangzicui.

He was subdued by Taipei City Police "along with MRT staff and courageous passengers," the Taipei City Police Department said in a press release

Police arrested Taiwanese college student, Cheng Chieh, Wednesday over a deadly knife attack on Taipei's subway

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The attack happened at around 4:25 p.m. local time on the Bannan (blue) line, inside a train heading west between Longshan Temple Station in Taipei and Jiangzicui Station in New Taipei. The distance between the two stations is the longest between any two stations in the metro system, lasting around 5 minutes.

Police blockade the scene of a stabbing incident at the Jiangzicui Station

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During the attack, the assailant hacked and chased passengers with a 30 cm long fruit knife. Before the train could stop at Jiangzicui Station, a group of passengers banded together to distance themselves using umbrellas while others tried to discourage the attacker by loudly taunting him.

According to New Taipei Police Chief Chen, the suspect said he had wanted to do something "shocking and big" and had been considering the attack for some time

Paramedics rush to evacuate a victim stabbed on a subway train in Taipei.

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Cheng spoke of his motives during police questioning. “He told the police that he had wanted to do a ‘big thing’ such as this since his childhood,” Chen Kuo-en, chief of the New Taipei City police bureau, told reporters

“He said he had planned to do this after his graduation, but last week decided to act ahead of his schedule,” Chen said, adding that the attacker had no medical record of mental disorder.

.Paramedics remove a victim from a subway station exit after the knife attack

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The student bought two knives, including a 30-centimetre-long knife and a smaller one at a supermarket in Taipei in preparation for the attack, Chen said.

Cheng had no medical record of mental illness. But the vice president of Cheng's university said there were indications from his activities on social media that he could be mentally unstable.

Alleged attacker Cheng Chieh, 21, is detained by police at the scene of his knife attack on a subway train in Taipei.

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"We got a tip from his former high school classmates around the end of April, and that tip said the alleged killer posted something on his Facebook page saying 'I'm going to do something big,'" Tunghai University Vice President Tsai Jen-Teng told CNN.

The college arranged a formal counseling session for Cheng on May 9 but he failed to show up, Tsai said. Several days later, he attended another meeting with a military officer, and "seemed to be acting quite normally," he said. Cheng transferred to Tunghai University last summer after struggling to maintain his grades at a military academy. "He failed over half of his courses," Tsai said.

The incident has sparked a debate online about whether the death penalty is appropriate punishment for such attacks, with several Facebook fan pages also supporting Cheng and what he did on 21 May

A Facebook group named "Indefinitely supporting death penalty for Cheng Chieh" had over 32,000 "likes" as of Thursday.

Several Facebook fan pages supporting Cheng have appeared following the stabbing, with names like "Go Cheng Chieh" and "Love Cheng Chieh fans' special page."

However, many more netizens have rallied against these support pages, calling on users to report the sites and flood them with negative comments.

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