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Protester shot in chest at close range in Tsuen Wan clashes

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Source: ejinsight/youtube/On.cc

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Amateur video of violent demonstrations in Hong Kong on Tuesday captures the moment when a policeman points a pistol at a black-clad protester and fires a round, after which the young man falls to the floor. The footage, taken by students during a chaotic melee in the Tsuen Wan area of the city, is the first known instance of a protester being shot with live ammunition during weeks of clashes between police and pro-democracy campaigners.

Police confirmed that an officer opened fire at a protester, an 18-year-old secondary five student, saying he was acting in self-defense. “A large group of rioters was attacking police officers in Tsuen Wan,” police said in a statement. “Police officers warned them, but they were still attacking police. A police officer’s life was seriously endangered. In order to save his and other officers’ lives, they fired at the attacker.” Video posted on social media shows the protester swing a baton at a policeman, brushing his right arm. When the footage is slowed down, a white flash appears at the end of the pistol barrel pointing at the protester’s chest from around a meter away. The protester stumbles over another policeman and falls on his back.

A second protester wearing a yellow construction hat rushes to the wounded man’s aid before being tackled to the ground by police. After lying motionless for several moments, the wounded protester removes his gas mask and calls weakly for help, giving his name and saying his chest hurts and that he needs to go to hospital. A policeman then kneels beside him and begins to tend to his wound. Protesters have been hit before with bean bags and rubber bullets and officers have fired live rounds in the air.

The incident came as thousands of protesters took to the streets to defy the city’s Chinese rulers on the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung defended the shooting as “legal and reasonable”, stressing that the officer who opened fire had legitimately felt that his life was threatened, RTHK reported. “The officer was under attack, his life was threatened. He issued a warning to no avail, and with no other option available, used his weapon,” Lo told a press briefing. “The officer opened fire to try to get himself, or his colleagues, out of a life-threatening situation. In this very short span of time, he made a decision and shot the assailant. So I believe that was his best judgement at the time, and I think this is reasonable, and legal,” he added.

The shooting happened after a group of protesters had pushed another officer down on the ground on Tai Ho Road in Tsuen Wan and attacked him, trying to spear him with sharpened sticks, the public broadcaster quoted Lo as saying. When his colleagues tried to come to his aid, Lo said, the assailants threw bricks and other hard objects at them. It was during then that the teenager was shot with a live round.

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that is pretty bad. the police shouldn't even trigger the gun on a close range like this. hope the protestor recover soon.

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