SHANGHAI - Chinese police Thursday arrested a suspect in the killing of 19 people in a village in the southwestern province of Yunnan, authorities said.

Local police detained the man named Yang Qingpei, born in 1989 and also from the same village, in the provincial capital Kunming, a statement released on the official weibo of Yunnan police showed.

The official Xinhua News agency reported earlier that the villagers were found dead at their homes on Thursday morning. A list with the victims’ names circulating online showed they included 11 males and eight females, with the youngest a three-year-old girl and the oldest 72. Four names were minors under 18, the list showed.

Yunnan police have verified the list and the news release, Beijing News reported, adding that the police have said there was no link to terrorism.

Mass killings are rare in China and the incident dominated discussion on social media platforms. It was not immediately clear how the victims were killed, or what the motive was.

The victims were members of six families, the official Xinhua news agency reported. The bodies were found on Thursday at different locations in the village, according to a state-backed news website,, which said the suspect had given authorities some details.

The public security bureau in the nearby city of Qujing told Reuters it was investigating.