A Hong Kong police officer shot a 21-year-old protester in the stomach with a live round at 7 a.m. Monday in the presence of a news camera. The protester received a surgery but reportedly is in a critical condition.
According to a CNN report, a police officer was scuffling with a protester on a crosswalk when another protester wearing black clothes and a black cap with a black face mask approached him. The police officer raised his gun and shot him with a live round at close range. The man immediately fell to the ground as people started to scream and tried to stop the police officer. A video of the scene was taken by one-man media Cupid Producer and was posted on Facebook.
The shooting took place amid escalating tensions caused by the death of a protester in the first fatality linked to police action in five months of protests. Chow Tsz-lok, 22, a student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died after falling from a building during a demonstration. Tens of thousands gathered to mourn his death over the weekends, building barricades on the streets. A fire broke at Kwai Fong Station paralyzed public transportation.
Hong Kong police issued a statement and said the police officer fired his gun while trying to disperse protesters and followed “strict guidelines and orders regarding the use of force.” The statement denied rumors of reckless firearm use. Hong Kong police is using firearms to suppress demonstrations, firing live rounds to an 18-year-old and a 14-year-old on October 1 and 4, respectively.
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