A 50-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of wounding three people in a knife attack at a Lennon Wall in Tseung Kwan O this morning.
Speaking to reporters at a press briefing today, Chief Superintendent John Tse Chun-chung of Police Public Relations revealed that they apprehended the suspect as he tried to cross over to the mainland via the border town of Lo Wu at around 3pm.
Tse confirmed that the suspect was a local resident and Hong Kong ID holder, and said the details of his motive were still unknown, though the suspect admitted he was under the influence of alcohol at the time.
“The Hong Kong police do not tolerate any acts of violence regardless of one’s background, and an unlawful act is an unlawful act,” Tse said.
The attack in question saw one man and two women slashed on a pedestrian walkway connecting the King Lam Estate to the Hau Tak Estate just after 1:35am. Police arrived at the scene at 1:40am.
In a video circulating online, a woman’s screams can be heard as the person filming the scene, surnamed Chan, calls out, “He’s stabbing people; he has a knife.”
A woman in a black shirt and tan pants can be seen lying on the floor before getting up and running away from a man in a blue shirt. The woman in black runs past the camera holding her shoulder, with blood dripping down her arm.
A man armed with knife was said to have been attacking ppl in Tseung Kwan O Lennon Wall abt a 1.5 hrs ago. Video fr TG. You can see blood on the girl’s forearm. Apple Daily has the story (paywall) https://t.co/P8rIGxHIwm #hongkongprotests #antielab pic.twitter.com/Jt4e8eEceu
— Vivienne Chow (@VivienneChow) August 19, 2019
In a second short clip circulating on social media, one of the injured can be seen sitting on the sidewalk, with small pools and splatters of blood around them.
Two young people were attacked by a knife-wielding Blue Ribbon at Tseung Kwan O’s Lennon Wall. The young man was slashed in the head and the girl was slashed in one arm. They were posting something on the Lennon wall when they were attacked. #Hongkong Hongkong pic.twitter.com/IpvLKMX92c
— Badcanto (@Badcanto) August 19, 2019
Speaking to RTHK, Chan said that moments before the attack, she saw the man in blue shirt talk to two women by a railing. The conversation soon became heated, with the man in blue yelling “I can’t take it anymore!” before removing a knife from the back pocket of his trousers and slashing one of the women on the right shoulder.
The man in blue fled the scene, and police arrived a few minutes later. During a preliminary investigation, officers recovered one knife from the walkway, and a second knife that was found inside a trash can outside Chung Ming Court.
In the moments after the attack, police believe that he entered one of the apartment blocks inside the Kar Ming House estate, then left the building wearing a red T-shirt instead of a blue one.
Apple Daily reported that a 26-year-old woman — the woman in black — was sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s intensive care unit in a critical condition after sustaining injuries to her neck and back.
The Hong Kong Economic Journal today posted a statement on their website condemning the attack, and confirming that the woman is a features reporter for the paper’s supplements section who had been on a leave of absence since the start of August.
The other two victims — a man and woman, aged 24 and 35, respectively — were taken to Tseung Kwan O Hospital. The woman sustained injuries to her right arm and legs and is in a stable condition, while the man sustained injuries to his head and ear and has been discharged from hospital.
“Lennon Walls,” which serve as clearinghouses for messages of support for the ongoing pro-democracy movement, have their origins in 1980s Prague, and first arrived in Hong Kong during the 2014 Umbrella Movement. Now, with massive protests sparked by a deeply loathed extradition bill again rocking the city, the walls are back, cropping up all over town, along walkways, on footbridges, and even in the front window of a claw machine arcade.
They have also been focal points for conflicts, with arguments and fights at times breaking out between critics of the protest movement and the pro-democracy volunteers manning the walls.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!