VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Following a day of violence in which one person was shot by police and another set on fire, Hong Kong’s leader pledged Monday to “spare no effort” to halt anti-government protests that have wracked the city for more than five months.

The comments by Carrie Lam are likely to fuel speculation that harsher legal and police measures may be in the works.

“I do not want to go into details, but I just want to make it very clear that we will spare no effort in finding ways and means that could end the violence in Hong Kong as soon as possible,” Lam told reporters.

Lam also refused to accept the protesters’ demands for political concessions.

“If there is still any wishful thinking that, by escalating violence, the Hong Kong SAR government will yield to pressure to satisfy the so-called political demands, I am making this statement clear and loud here: That will not happen,” Lam said, using the initials for Special Administrative Region, which describes the city’s status as a semi-autonomous Chinese territory.

“These rioters’ actions have far exceeded their demands, and they are enemies of the people,” she said.

Following Lam’s comments, confrontations between protesters and police continued into the night, with black-clad demonstrators torching at least one vehicle and blocking an intersection in the Mongkok district that has been the scene of many clashes. A taxi driver was taken away by ambulance with head wounds, although it wasn’t immediately clear how he had been injured.

The violence is likely to further inflame passions in Hong Kong after a university student who fell from a parking garage during an earlier protest succumbed Friday to his injuries and police arrested six pro-democracy lawmakers over the weekend on charges of obstructing the local assembly during a raucous May 11 meeting. All were freed on bail.

China’s ruling Communist Party has also indicated it may try to find a way to enact anti-subversion laws in the territory. Such measures were shelved previously due to public opposition.

While Beijing has dismissed reports it may replace Lam next year, the party last week issued a statement saying it would “perfect” the system to appoint and dismiss Hong Kong’s leader and top officials.

In a widely distributed video, a police officer is shown shooing away a group of protesters at an intersection Monday morning, then drawing his gun on a masked protester in a white hooded sweatshirt who approaches him.

As the two struggle, another protester in black approaches, at whom the officer points his gun. He then fires at the stomach area of the second protester, who falls to the ground. The officer appeared to fire again as a third protester in black joined the tussle.

The protester in white flees up a nearby stairway, and the officer and a colleague pin the two in black to the ground.

Police said only one protester was hit and that he was undergoing surgery. The Hong Kong hospital authority said the person was initially in critical condition but was stable after surgery.

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June, although police have repeatedly drawn their firearms to ward off attacks. More than 3,300 people have been arrested.

Few details were available about the burning incident in the Ma On Shan neighbourhood. Video posted online shows the victim arguing with a group of young people before someone douses him with a liquid and strikes a lighter. The man was reported in critical condition.

Police fired tear gas and deployed a water cannon in parts of the city and charged onto the campus of Chinese University, where students were protesting. Online video also showed a policeman on a motorcycle riding through a group of protesters in an apparent attempt to disperse them.

Police spokesman Tse Chun-chung said the shooting, burning and motorcycle incidents were all under investigation, but defended the officers’ actions as necessary for their own safety. Tse said two people were arrested in the shooting incident, including the person shot, but no one has yet been detained over the burning.

Protesters built barricades and blocked roads at about 120 locations across the city of 7.4 million and demonstrations were still ongoing, Tse said.

“Continuing this rampage is a lose-lose situation for Hong Kong. Everyone is a loser,” Tse said.

Rail service was partly suspended because of fires and obstacles on the tracks and windows were smashed at a branch of the state-owned Bank of China. Large parts of the downtown business district were closed to traffic as protesters surrounded by onlookers engaged in a standoff with police.

The protests began over a proposed extradition law and have expanded to include demands for greater democracy and police accountability. Activists say Hong Kong’s autonomy and Western-style civil liberties, promised when the former British colony was returned to China in 1997, are eroding.

The video of the shooting was posted on Facebook by Cupid Producer, an outlet that started last year and appears to post mostly live videos related to local news.

The shooting occurred in a crosswalk at a large intersection strewn with debris that had backed up traffic in Sai Wan Ho, a neighbourhood on the eastern part of Hong Kong Island.

In a statement, the Hong Kong government said police had been responding to vandalism and disruptions of traffic, including protesters throwing heavy objects onto roads from above.

“During police operations, one police officer has discharged his service revolver, one male was shot,” the statement said, adding that officers also drew their guns in the Shatin and Tung Chung neighbourhoods.

The statement denied what it called online rumours that police had been ordered to “recklessly use their firearms,” calling the allegation “totally false and malicious.”

“All police officers are required to justify their enforcement actions,” the statement said.

A patch of what looked like dried blood could be seen in a cordoned-off area after the shooting, as onlookers shouted insults at the police.

Masked protesters continued trying to block other intersections in the area, but police chased them away with pepper spray, hitting some bystanders as well.

On Sunday, police fired tear gas and protesters vandalized stores at shopping malls during demonstrations. They targeted businesses whose owners are seen as pro-Beijing and also damaged the Sha Tin train station.

READ MORE: Hong Kong protesters vandalize subway station, storm mall

VIDEO: Hong Kong police slammed as ‘trigger-happy’ after protester shot

Police said they arrested at least 88 people on charges including unlawful assembly, possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage and wearing masks at an unlawful assembly.

Hong Kong is preparing for Nov. 24 district council elections that are seen as a measure of public sentiment toward the government. Pro-democracy lawmakers accuse the government of trying to provoke violence to justify cancelling or postponing the vote.

Alice Fung, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Red dresses to be hung from Ladysmith to Oyster Bay, showing solidarity against racism

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

Volunteers tend to White Rock’s waterfront native plant demonstration garden, during a work party Saturday (May 5). (Contributed photo)
Ready your gardens, the pollinators are coming

By R. Quinlan With the arrival of Spring, this year has more… Continue reading

Bruce Whittington making a founding gift to the Ladysmith Community Foundation Fund, presented to then Nanaimo Foundation Board Chair, Ted Carson. (Submitted photo)
New Ladysmith Community Fund set up to support local charities

The fund will be managed by the Nanaimo Foundation and all funds will remain in Ladysmith

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

‘For Sale’ signs quickly turned to ‘Sold’ signs as record-high demand for housing meets record-low inventory. (Cole Schisler photo)
Multiple offers and unconditional sales rampant in Ladysmith housing market

Vancouver Island Real Estate Board Zone 3 director Susan Perrey says the market is ‘crazy all around’

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control has listed Harbour Air and Air Canada flights to and from Nanaimo, from April 3, 4 and 12, on its list of flights with COVID-19. (News Bulletin file)
COVID-19 cases reported for Nanaimo flights, says disease control centre

Nanaimo flights for April 3, 4 and 12 listed on BCCDC’s list of flights with COVID-19

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

Local carpenter Tyler Bohn embarked on a quest to create the East Sooke Treehouse, after seeing people build similar structures on a Discovery Channel show. (East Sooke Treehouse Facebook photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. carpenter builds fort inspired by TV’s ‘Treehouse Masters’

The whimsical structure features a wooden walking path, a loft, kitchen – and is now listed on Airbnb

Most Read