Teenager shot in chest as Hong Kong police fire live rounds at protestors

1 October 2019, 10:10

By Kate Buck

An 18-year-old student has been shot in the chest in Hong Kong as police confirm they have fired live rounds at protestors.

South Morning China Post reports that protestors fled the scene after the gunshots, while the victim received medical treatment from officers and first aid personnel.

Pro-democracy activists are staging a "Day of Grief" to defy Communist rule as the mainland celebrated China's 70th National Day.

A protest has been shot with a live round by police in Hong Kong
A protest has been shot with a live round by police in Hong Kong. Picture: Facebook

Police in Hong Kong confirmed that three rounds have been fired at crowds, including at least two outside the Yau Ma Tei metro station.

It signals escalating violence in the region, while Beijing held a grand military parade to celebrate 70 years of communist rule.

In a statement on Facebook, Police Senior Superintendent Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan said the force is "saddened" about the shooting.

She said: "At about 4pm, a large group of rioters attacked police officers near Tai Ho Road, and they continued with their attack after officers warned them to stop.

"As an officer felt his life was under serious threat, he fired a round at the assailant to save his own life and his colleagues’ lives."

Hong Kong police have fired live rounds on protestors
Hong Kong police have fired live rounds on protestors. Picture: PA

She continued: "The round hit an 18-year-old, and the area near his left shoulder was injured, and he was conscious when taken to Princess Margaret Hospital."

"The police force really did not want to see anyone being injured, so we feel very sad about this. We warn rioters to stop breaking the law immediately, as we will strictly enforce the law."

Meanwhile US President Donald Trump has tweeted congratulations to Chinese President Xi JinPing.

Some activists were caught on camera throwing eggs at portraits of the Chinese premier, and others were seen burning the Chinese national flag.

It's believed that 15 people have been injured in the protests, with the man who was shot in critical condition.

Officers have also deployed a water cannon to disperse the protesters, using blue dye that stick to the skin to identify criminals.

British Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, called the use of live ammunition "disproportionate".

He said: "Whilst there is no excuse for violence, the use of live ammunition is disproportionate, and only risks inflaming the situation.

"The incident underlines the need for a constructive dialogue to address the legitimate concerns of the people of Hong Kong.

"We need to see restraint and a de-escalation from both protesters and the Hong Kong authorities."

Paramedics attend to protester who was hit by a live round
Paramedics attend to protester who was hit by a live round. Picture: Twitter

The EU has called for "de-escalation" and "restraint" in reaction to the unrest, saying that "further efforts" are need to restore trust.

A spokesperson for the EU said: "While initial positive steps to engage members of the public and various sectors of society in dialogue have been taken, further efforts are needed to restore trust.

"More than three months since the protests began, the right to assembly and the right to protest peacefully must continue to be upheld in line with the Basic Law and international commitments."