Hong Kong protester shot by police charged with rioting and assault

Student Tsang Chi Kin was among a group of seven people charged with rioting.
Student Tsang Chi Kin was among a group of seven people charged with rioting.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - The first Hong Kong protester shot during months of unrest has been charged by police with rioting and assaulting an officer.

The authorities on Thursday (Oct 3) charged the 18-year-old with rioting and assaulting a police officer in Tsuen Wan amid widespread protests and violent clashes on Oct 1.

The Secondary 5 student was among a group of seven people - aged 18 to 38 - charged with rioting on Thursday, Hong Kong broadcaster RTHK reported.

The police said the student was shot in the left shoulder but various Hong Kong media reports say he was shot in the chest.

The student is undergoing treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and is expected to survive.

Videos of the incident show a group of protesters armed with pipes and other weapons chasing riot police before one of the officers fired his gun. The protester who was shot appeared to swing a pipe or rod at the officer before the gun was fired.

Police subsequently defended the officer, saying he fired his weapon in self-defence because he believed that his life and the lives of other officers were at risk.

Protesters have condemned what they said were aggressive tactics by the police force, and plan additional protests this weekend.

Meanwhile, a doctor has criticised the police for not providing immediate medical help to the student after he was shot.

Dr Alfred Wong, a cardiologist at a hospital in Tuen Mun, said that the three-minute delay "could mean the difference between life and death", RTHK reported.

 
 

According to video footage of the incident circulating online, the student fell to the ground after he was shot and was unattended for around three minutes. Meanwhile, police officers at the scene were seen dealing with other protesters.

Police later said that the officers had to deal with the chaotic situation first before they could tend to the injured student, RTHK reported.