High-school student Tsang Chi-kin became the first protester to be shot with live ammunition in Hong Kong since the massive protests began in early June. Here’s what you need to know:
1. The 18-year-old was shot in the chest by police during a violent clash on Tuesday.
Clashes reportedly erupted in 13 different locations just as celebrations in Beijing for 70th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
2. Tsang Chi-Kin is currently in stable condition.
Tsang, who has been described as a “seasoned protester,” was rushed to a hospital and underwent immediate surgery. As of early Wednesday morning, he was reported to be in stable condition by health officials, Wall Street Journal reports.
The Hong Kong police reportedly fired live rounds to disperse protesters. Video footage emerged online showing an officer opening fire as the protester was charging at him with a metal rod.
Tsang, who struck the policeman’s shooting arm, was shot by a pistol at close range. Another clip showed him apparently hit at the right part of his chest and bleeding on the ground.
A Hong Kong protester was shot in his chest by a live round. Later on he was unconscious for a while and police did CPR to him. He became conscious and first-aid came and send him to hospital.
— 🇭🇰Be the light of HK🇺🇸 (@HK_Light_KAG) October 1, 2019
3. The officer claims he shot Tsang in self-defense.
According to the authorities, the officer who shot Tsang fired his gun in self-defense.
“The officer at the scene was being cornered, he had no other choice but to use his gun,” Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung was quoted as saying. “His life was in danger.”
Lo says Tsang was arrested for assaulting police officers, but they have yet to decide whether to charge him.
— hfok (@hfok) October 1, 2019
4. Violent clashes between police and activists had become more intense in the last couple of weeks.
Police firing tear gas and nonlethal ammunition at protesters hurling bricks and Molotov cocktails at them have become a recurring sight in many areas in Hong Kong. So far, 74 people had reportedly been injured, a few of them are either in critical or serious condition, based on data from the Hospital Authority.
In recent weeks, police officers have been firing live warning shots pointed to the sky when being surrounded by protesters. On Tuesday, a total of six gunshots fired in four separate incidents. The city’s police chief condemned some of the protesters’ violent behavior as it puts officers lives at risk.
Some of the young protesters have adopted violent tactics in expressing their discontent. There have been individuals that have been captured on video throwing Molotov cocktails and bricks at police. Meanwhile, protesters have maintained that the police officers should be condemned for brutally beating people.
— Tiffany L. (@Thisisyuet) October 1, 2019
5. Protesters “charged” at police officers to rescue two people who had been arrested.
According to one of the student activists present during Tsang’s shooting, protesters rushed police officers outside a Tsuen Wan restaurant in a bid to rescue two demonstrators who had just been arrested.
“We did charge at the police,” she noted. “But the shooting was totally unnecessary. I am really mad.”
Tuesday morning began peacefully with community leaders, political elites and officials gathering at the Convention and Exhibition Center in Wan Chai to observe a flag-raising ceremony, South China Morning Post reports.
Meanwhile, a group of protesters went on a massive “national grief” march from Victoria Park in Causeway Bay to Central. Apparently hoping to reach Beijing’s liaison office in Sai Ying Pun, the group was soon faced with riot police. This encounter ignited clashes that would later cause injuries for at least 66 individuals
According to Lo, 180 people were arrested during a day he considers “one of Hong Kong’s most violent and chaotic days.” He shared that 25 officers were injured in the course of the day.
Feathered image via Campus TV