A lesbian couple was brutally stabbed to death by a stranger at the Hollywood Plaza Mall in Diamond Hill in Kowloon, Hong Kong, on June 2.
: According to police senior superintendent Elieen Chung Lai-yee, a 39-year-old man named Szeto Sing-Kwong purchased a 12-inch knife
at a shop in the mall shortly before approaching the couple — Fong Hiu Tung, 22, and Lau Kai Hei, 26 — from behind after 5 p.m. local time.
In graphic video clips circulating on social media, Szeto can be seen stabbing the short-haired woman repeatedly, causing her to fall to the ground. The couple tries to fight off the man and escape, without success. Szeto pins the short-haired woman to the floor and repeatedly stabs her before he runs after the other woman.
Deaths: The couple, who had lived together in Tai Po for several months, were taken to the United Christian Hospital, where they succumbed to their injuries at around 6 p.m. local time. The short-haired woman was reportedly stabbed more than 25 times.
On the day of the murder, the couple was reportedly going to dinner to celebrate the birthday of Fong’s grandfather.
Arrest and charges: Police officers with shields and pepper spray reportedly rushed the attacker, dragged him to the floor and handcuffed him. Szeto was arrested and has been charged with two counts of murder.
According to police, the suspect, who is unemployed, has a history of mental illness. Szeto was remanded to a psychiatric center after a hearing at Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Courts on June 5.
Preliminary investigation: During a preliminary investigation, investigators found “no concrete evidence” to suggest that Szeto knew the women.
“The relationship between the victims and the suspect, as well as his motivation, will be the focus of our investigation,” Chung Lai-yee said in a late-night briefing after the incident.
Avoid watching the attack: The Hong Kong Red Cross and the city leader, Chief Executive John Lee, urged netizens not to share or watch the horrific video of the attack to avoid emotional distress.
“If children have watched the clips, parents can first calm them down and explain what happened in a clear and understandable manner,” a Hong Kong Red Cross spokesperson said. “Both adults and children experiencing apparent emotional distress can seek professional help.”
Online backlash: Social media users across the globe, including LGBTQ+ activists, are angered at Hong Kong police and international media companies for failing to acknowledge the couple’s relationship.
Naomi Wu, a social media influencer and YouTuber, took to Twitter to express her disappointment and rage.
“F*ck this and f*ck everyone who keeps calling them ‘friends” or ‘women’ or trying to find a male savior in all of this. It was a hate crime. Everyone- including all the men stood around until the attack was done,” Wu tweeted.
To justify her argument, Wu shared the horrific clips to show how the attack was not “random” and that the lesbian couple “were selected out of all those people.”
“They were a couple – period. Everyone being interviewed says ‘couple.’ Only the police say ‘friends.’ A lesbian couple got killed, and English-language news outlets won’t say so,” Wu continued.
Warning: The Twitter thread below contains graphic video and images that may be disturbing to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.