A Hong Kong police officer shot two protesters, as the financial hub reeled from citywide efforts to disrupt the morning commute amid worsening political unrest.
Police confirmed an officer had shot two protesters on Monday, saying they were conscious as they were taken to the hospital. The city’s railway operator also suspended parts of some lines amid mass vandalism and most universities canceled classes as the city woke to widespread chaos following a tense weekend.
The dramatic flare-up comes after a weekend of sporadic protests and rallies following the death of a student who fell from a parking garage amid a police dispersal operation last week -- the first death linked to the ongoing protests.
The historic unrest, which has dragged on for five months, began after the government proposed now-withdrawn legislation that would have allowed extraditions to mainland China. The movement has since expanded to call for greater democratic accountability, as well as an independent inquiry into the violence.
Here’s the latest (all times local):
Benchmark index slips (9:59 a.m.)
The Hang Seng Index dropped 1.5% Monday, as the city’s equity-driven rebound began to unravel amid concern over escalating local violence, as well as signs that optimism over a potential U.S.-China trade deal has been overdone. Warning signs were already showing in the market last week, with the gauge trading in overbought territory, above its 200-day moving average and higher than the key 27,000 point level.
Protester in critical condition (9:40 a.m.)
One protester who was shot with a live round Monday morning is in critical condition, the South China Morning Post newspaper reported, citing an unidentified medical source. The protester was sent to Eastern Hospital. A Hospital Authority spokesman couldn’t immediately confirm the condition of the injured person when reached by Bloomberg News.
Canceled classes (9:15 a.m.)
Most of Hong Kong’s major universities announced they were suspending classes Monday amid widespread protests and violence. The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Shue Yan University said they were canceling classes today. The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Baptist University and the Education University of Hong Kong also stopped classes today, according to local media reports.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said it was canceling classes after many sites on campus were hit by “mass-scale malicious vandalism” on Friday. Chow Tsz-lok, the student who died after suffering a brain injury following his fall last week, had attended the university.
MTR shuts stations (9 a.m.)
The city’s rail operator MTR Corp. said it had shut the Whampoa, Kwai Fong and Tung Chung subway stations amid widespread vandalism and disruptions. The company also said it had suspended some service on the West Rail Line and the Ma On Shan line..
Police confirm shooting (8:30 a.m.)
Hong Kong police confirmed two protesters were shot and injured by an officer at 7:24 a.m. outside the Sai Wan Ho MTR station on the eastern side of Hong Kong Island, a spokesman said. The injured demonstrators were conscious as they were taken to the city’s Eastern Hospital.
The South China Morning Post reported that one of the protesters was in critical condition, citing a person they did not identify. A Hospital Authority spokesman, who only confirmed one injured person was sent to the hospital, could not immediately confirm the person’s condition.