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24 June


Hong Kong police shoot a student with military weapons

The student was hospitalized in critical condition

Protest Photo: Kyodo

Hong Kong riot police shot and injured a protester during anti-government demonstrations across the territory on Tuesday, the 70th anniversary of China's National Day, while dozens of others were also hurt in clashes.

The police confirmed having shot the 18-year-old, reportedly a male high school student, in his left shoulder area, in what marks the first case of its kind since the protests began in June, though warning shots had been fired before.

"A large group of rioters were attacking police officers, - police spokeswoman Yolanda Yu said. - Despite warnings from the police, the assailants still continued with the violent attacks, the police officers' lives were under serious threat. To save his own life and his colleagues' lives, he fired a live round at the assailant".

Police chief Stephen Lo also defended the officer's action, saying the evidence at hand indicated it was a legal and reasonable use of force for self-defense and to protect fellow officers.

"It was in a split second the officer made the judgement to shoot when he found his life under threat as he was under attack at a close range," - Lo told reporters at a later briefing.

Local media said the student was hospitalized in critical condition after being shot in the chest during a clash with police in Tsuen Wan in the New Territories. Footage uploaded online showed him wielding a metal rod at police standing at arm's length when the shot went off.

The Hospital Authority merely confirmed that two of the 66 injured individuals were in critical condition.

More than 180 people were arrested in the day, Lo said, and 25 police officers were injured.