Taiwan: Chinese Man claims to have shot at Taiwan President
While being questioned about a separate shooting case, Wang Erjiang surprisingly told police in southern Kaohsiung county that he had shot at Chen in March.
"He said he was angry at the noise of firecrackers while Chen was campaigning in Tainan and fired with a gun he was carrying," Kaohsiung prosecutor Lin Ching-tsung told reporters.
Chen and Vice President Annette Lu were slightly wounded on March 19 when two bullets grazed their bodies as they were campaigning in an open-topped jeep in southern Tainan.
But Lin said Wang was unable to identify the exact location from which the shots were fired when he was taken to the scene.
Wang, from China's southeastern Fujian province, was arrested Saturday for allegedly shooting dead a village chief in Kaohsiung, Lin said.
Wang, who is believed to have been smuggled into Taiwan from China in a ship, would be further questioned next week, prosecutors said.
"We are taking this seriously," chief prosecutor Jenny Kuo told AFP, saying her office would review all evidence to verify Wang's account.
Several other people have also claimed responsibility for the pre-election shooting but have been ruled out as suspects after investigations, she added.
Chen won re-election the day after the attack by a mere 0.22 percent margin, prompting mass demonstrations from opposition supporters alleging foul play.
The opposition claims the shooting could have been staged to win sympathy votes and has filed two lawsuits to challenge Chen's victory.
Chen's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) denies the charge.
Taiwan's opposition-dominated parliament in August passed legislation authorizing a committee to be set up to look into the unresolved shooting.
Chen's party has criticized the law as unconstitutional and has appealed to the judiciary.