Student shot in chest recovering in ICU as hundreds gather in show of support

People gathered outside a Tsuen Wan high school place their hand on their chest in solidarity with a student who was shot in the chest at close range by a police officer during yesterday’s National Day protests. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHKRTHK
People gathered outside a Tsuen Wan high school place their hand on their chest in solidarity with a student who was shot in the chest at close range by a police officer during yesterday’s National Day protests. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHKRTHK

The first person to be shot with live ammunition in Hong Kong’s months-long protest movement is reportedly conscious and recovering in intensive care today as hundreds gathered outside his high school in Tsuen Wan in a show of support for the badly injured teenager.

The gunshot victim, identified as 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin, is a student at the Tsuen Wan Public Ho Chuen Yiu Memorial College.

This morning hundreds of current and former students gathered outside the school to voice their support for Tsang, chanting “Tsang Chi-kin, add oil!” and placing their hands on the left side of their chests. Tsang was shot in the left lung.

Tsang was shot during a clash with police in Tsuen Wan yesterday as chaotic and unsanctioned National Day protests raged across the city.

In one video from the scene, filmed by the City University of Hong Kong’s Editorial Board, a group of masked, black-shirted protesters can be seen swarming around a fallen police officer and beating him with umbrellas and sticks on Tai Ho Road.

Another officer approaches the melee with his pistol drawn and aimed at the protesters.

In a separate video, filmed by the University of Hong Kong’s student television station Campus TV, Tsang can be seen swinging what appears to be a metal rod at the second officer just as he wheels around with his gun raised.

The rod appears to graze the arm holding the gun, and the weapon discharges, shooting Tsang in the chest at point blank range.

Another City University video taken in the aftermath of the shooting shows Tsang lying on the ground, blood streaming from his chest, crying out to be taken to the hospital.

According to Ming Pao, Tsang was first sent to Princess Margaret Hospital and then transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he underwent an emergency chest operation to have the bullet removed. A medical source told the newspaper that the bullet was three centimeters to the left of his heart.

The outlet reported just before midnight that after a four-hour operation, Tsang was conscious and recuperating in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

At a police press briefing at 11:45pm last night, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo defended the shooting as “reasonable and legal,” saying that the officer who opened fire had legitimately feared for his life, RTHK reports.

“The officer was under attack, his life was threatened. He issued a warning to no avail, and with no other option available, used his weapon,” Lo said.

“The officer opened fire to try to get himself, or his colleagues, out of a life-threatening situation. In this very short span of time, he made a decision and shot the assailant. So I believe that was his best judgement at the time, and I think this is reasonable and legal.”

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