Hong Kong police have defended themselves after shooting an 18-year-old boy in Tsuen Wan at close range with live ammunition.
Twenty-four pro-democracy lawmakers issued a statement saying that the police had unnecessarily increased their use of force.
A video filmed by the University of Hong Kong Student Union’s Campus TV on Tuesday shows the secondary school student being shot at close range with a pistol. The clip was filmed on Hoi Pa Street at around 4 pm. during clashes with several riot police.
In the video posted on Facebook the teen screamed, “My heart hurts a lot” and there is a lot of blood flowing out of my heart.”
香港城市大學學生會編輯委員會 Editorial Board, CityU SU Tuesday, 1 October 2019.
In another video filmed by the City University Student Union’s Editorial Board, a group of protesters appears to be attacking a police officer who falls to the ground. Another officer holding a pistol is seen rushing to the scene when a student holding a pole appears to be striking an officer. The officer then shoots the student.
Police Public Relations Branch Senior Superintendent Yolanda Yu defended the officer’s action in a video on Facebook, saying that he did so to save himself and his colleague from attack.
#荃灣【左胸中彈直擊】1610 在荃灣大河道中混亂期間警員拔槍近距離（約一個身位）直射向示威者，其後該示威者中槍倒地。警方確認其中實彈。傷者傷勢 Facebook post [Suspected Live Ammunition at Protest] 1
Superintendent Yolanda Yu’s response to the shooting was, “The police officer’s lives were under serious threat. To save his own life and his colleagues, he fired a shot at the assailant. The police do not wish to see anyone injured. It is very heartbreaking. We must warn again that all rioters must stop illegal acts. The police will continue to enforce the law seriously,” she said.
The student was rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in a critical condition.
According to Mingpao the bullet had hit the student’s left lung three centimeters away from his heart. The boy incurred pneumothorax—known as a collapsed lung.
A tube was inserted by medics to release oxygen into his lung.
He was transferred to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital where the bullet in his chest was removed. The teen is currently under doctors’ observation in ICU.
The incident occurred during the 17th consecutive week of citywide unrest during the 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
The protests were sparked by now-soon-to-be-withdrawn extradition which would have enabled fugitive transfers to China.
“The officer’s firing at close range was more like an assault than self-defense. Moreover, each officer has enough equipment to defend and attack, and it was questionable whether it was necessary to use a live round,” the pro-democracy lawmakers stated.
They condemned Chief Executive Carrie Lam for being absent from Hong Kong amid the chaos after she flew to Beijing for the national celebrations.
“This is very shameless and irresponsible—it is equal to authorizing the police to govern Hong Kong,” they said.
Photo: Campus TV, HKUSU.
But, the pro-Beijing New People’s Party said it strongly condemned the citywide protests in Hong Kong as violent.
“On the incident that a form five student was shot by the police, the New People’s Party strongly condemns people who instigate and encourage young people—especially secondary school students – to participate in illegal violent protests in the false name of democracy and freedom,” the pro Beijing New People’s Party’s statement said.
In response, the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement: “Whilst there is no excuse for violence, the use of live ammunition is disproportionate, and only risks inflaming the situation. This incident underlines the need for a constructive dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong.”
“We need to see restraint and de-escalation from both protestors and the Hong Kong authorities,” he added.
Hong Kong Free Press relies on direct reader support. Help safeguard independent journalism and press freedom as we invest more in freelancers, overtime, safety gear & insurance during this summer’s protests. 10 ways to support us.
Carrie LamChina ExtraditionDominic RaabOctober 1Queen Elizabeth HospitalYolanda Yu18-year-old Hong Kong protester in critical condition after being shot by police with live roundAs one of the world’s most unequal cities, why aren’t Hong Kong protesters angry at the rich and powerful?