Hong Kong: Students stage sit-in at school of young demonstrator shot by police during pro-democracy protest

Evening Standard 2 months ago

Hundreds of students have staged a sit-in at the school of a young demonstrator who was shot by police during a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong.

Tsang Chi-kin, 18, was rushed to hospital in a critical condition after the shooting at the protest, which came on the say China marked 70 years of Communist rule.

It was the first time live ammunition was used on protesters in the city since the demonstrations began in July and represents a major escalation of force by authorities.

Students at the Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu memorial college, which the teenager attended, chanted anti-police slogans and demanded accountability as they staged a sit in outside.

"The Hong Kong police have gone trigger-happy and nuts," pro-democracy politician Claudia Mo said on Wednesday.

Schoolmates of a student who was shot in the chest by police during a pro-democracy protest place their hands on their chests during the sit-in (AFP/Getty Images)

Having viewed video of the shooting, Ms Mo said: "The sensible police response should have been using a police baton or pepper spray, etcetera, to fight back.

"It wasn't exactly an extreme situation and the use of live bullet simply cannot be justified."

Police have said the officer feared for his life and his shooting of the 18-year-old student in the chest at close range on Tuesday was "reasonable and lawful".

Alumni of Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College participate in a student sit-in (REUTERS)

Several hundred people, including students, protested with quiet fury at the wounded demonstrator's school in the Tsuen Wan district of Hong Kong on Wednesday morning.

One held a hand-written message condemning "thug police".

Commissioner Stephen Lo said on Tuesday night that the officer had feared for his life and made "a split-second" to fire with a single shot at close range.

"It was the attacker who decided to come so close," he said. "He had no choice, he could only use the weapon that he had available."

Mr Lo said there is no order for police to shoot if they are under threat but they can use appropriate force.

He described protesters as "rioters", saying they have committed widespread criminal acts - from attacking police officers, including 25 who were injured, to destroying public property and vandalising shops and banks linked to China.

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