An unarmed protester who was shot with live ammunition in Sai Wan Ho by a police officer this morning has undergone an operation and is currently in critical condition.
According to Apple Daily, the victim has been identified as a 21-year-old surnamed Chow. He was caught on camera being shot in the torso at point blank range by a police officer during clashes in Sai Wan Ho just before 8am this morning.
The newspaper reports that Chow needed surgery on his kidney and liver, and is currently recovering at Eastern Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit, where riot police are currently standing guard.
An anonymous source told Ming Pao that Chow’s renal vein was also crushed, and that he needed CPR after his heart stopped at one point.
RTHK reports that members of staff at Eastern Hospital staged a protest in the hospital’s lobby against police attacks on protesters. The impromptu demonstration led the Hospital Authority to issue a statement urging people not to demonstrate in hospitals, saying that “public assemblies are not suitable in public hospitals as they will affect patient transfer and safety, order and operation in hospitals to a certain extent.”
At about 12:20pm, police issued a statement confirming that one person was shot and denying rumors that frontline officers had been ordered to “recklessly use their firearms in today’s operations.”
“Police clarifies that this allegation is totally false and malicious. Police has strict guidelines and orders regarding the use of firearms. All Police officers are required to justify their enforcement actions.”
News of the shooting prompted hundreds of people in Central to stage an impromptu lunchtime protest in the area, culminating in riot police firing volleys of tear gas to disperse demonstrators.
Rounds of tear gas fired in Pedder Street, Central. But crowds remained defiant and made their way back to Central direction again. pic.twitter.com/NJBT3sjUXc
— Alvin Lum (@alvinllum) November 11, 2019
As of press time, tear gas had also been fired in Sha Tin, Hung Hom, Tseung Kwan O, and Sai Wan Ho, and flash protests are continuing in various parts of the city.