For the first time, Hong Kong cop shoots protester with a live bullet
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AHong Kong police officer on Tuesday shot a teenage demonstrator, the first time in months of protests that a live round was fired at a protester. The shooting capped an evening of violent protests, escalating the territory’s political crisis on the same day the central government staged a huge military parade in Beijing to celebrate 70 years of Communist control.
The protesters in Hong Kong hoped to upstage Beijing’s celebrations by holding their own unauthorised marches. Violence quickly broke out, as demonstrators in districts across the city engaged in some of the bloodiest and most sustained clashes since protesters began taking to the streets in early June.
The protester was shot in a working-class area in a district near Hong Kong’s border with the Chinese mainland, miles from the city’s financial district. Yolanda Yu, a spokeswoman for the Hong Kong Police Force, said in a video posted on the force’s Facebook page that An amateur video of violent demonstrations in Hong Kong on Tuesday captured the moment when a policeman pointed a pistol at a black-clad protester and fired a round, after which the young man fell to the floor
the protester was an 18-yearold who had been shot in the left shoulder. She said the protester was conscious as he was taken to the hospital. Hong Kong’s hospital authority said the teen was one of two people in critical condition, with a total of 51 people injured as fierce clashes between protesters and police wracked the city. Media said the young man was a high school student. Yu said
the officer who shot the protester had been under attack by a violent “rioters” who were threatening officers’ lives. “In order to save himself and his colleagues, he fired one shot at the attacker,” she said. Police commissioner Stephen Lo defended the action as “reasonable and lawful”.
In the video, the protester who was shot is first seen joining a mob of people who chase a riot officer and tackle him to the ground. They kick him and beat him with what appear to be metal pipes. At one point, the protester approaches a second police officer who is standing nearby with a handgun drawn. Just after the protester hits the officer with the pipe, the officer fires at the man at point-blank range.
Hong Kong was transformed into a tear gas-engulfed battlefield on Tuesday as protesters clashed with police in nine districts across the city, building bonfires and barricades and hurling firebombs and other objects in a direct challenge to Beijing’s rule. The sirens of ambulances and fire trucks rang out as the police chased after protesters. Meanwhile, President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that no force can ever stop China from marching forward. He was presiding over the country’s largest parade, flaunting its military might and unity among top leaders, to celebrate the Communist Party’s hold on power for 70 years.