HONG KONG: Hundreds of Hong Kongers staged a sit-in outside the school of a protester who was shot by police as authorities said the wounded 18-year-old was in a stable condition.
The international finance hub has been left reeling from the shooting, the first time a demonstrator has been struck with a live round in nearly four months of increasingly violent pro-democracy protests.
Hong Kong was battered by the most sustained political violence of the year on Tuesday as China celebrated 70 years of Communist Party rule with a massive military parade in Beijing.
The spiralling violence underscored seething public anger against Beijing s rule and shifted the spotlight from China s carefully choreographed birthday party, which was designed to showcase its status as a global superpower.
Running battles raged for hours across multiple locations as hardcore protesters hurled rocks and petrol bombs. Police responded for the most part with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.
In Tsuen Wan district, a police officer fired his weapon at close range into the chest of Tsang Chi-kin, 18, as his unit was attacked by protesters armed with poles and umbrellas.
Police said the officer feared for his life on a day that saw his colleagues fire five warning shots from their pistols throughout the city.
But protest groups hit back, saying the officer charged into the melee with his firearm drawn, and condemned the increasing use of live rounds.
“HK (has) fallen into a de facto police state,” prominent democracy activist Joshua Wong tweeted. “The paramilitary security forces completely took over this city.”
The shooting was captured on video that quickly went viral, further fanning the flames.
Outside Tsang s school on Monday students chanted slogans and held pictures of the incident, taken form videos posted on Facebook.
“No rioters, only tyranny,” they chanted, alongside other popular protest slogans.
One activist, her face covered in the now ubiquitous gas masks worn by protesters, sat next to a sign that read: “With blood tears and sweat we shall stride ahead.”