Chinese police fatally shot a man in northern China who was on his way to Beijing to ask the central government to help house and take care of his sons and elderly mother.

His relatives received approval for the aid three days after the Saturday killing.

Lawyer Xie Yanyi, who is working with Xu Chenhe's family on the case, said Xu, his mother and three sons were on their way to the capital when train station security officers in Harbin recognized them and barred them from buying tickets.

The family had visited Beijing several times seeking aid, and local authorities often try to block such trips to avoid embarrassment.

The newspaper Southern Metropolis Daily said Xu reached for a policeman's gun, but Xie said witness videos contradict that account.