Shot HK protester in critical condition

Hong Kong police have fired live rounds at protesters in the latest clash in the city.
Hong Kong police have fired live rounds at protesters in the latest clash in the city.

A Hong Kong anti-government protester being treated for gunshot wounds is in a critical condition, the city's hospital authority says.

A video circulating online showed what appeared to be a police officer shooting a protester at close range in the chest on Monday morning in a video circulating online.

The protester, who looks unarmed, then slumps to the ground, the video shows.

Hong Kong police later confirmed in a statement that an officer discharged his revolver and shot one male.

The incident marks the third time a protester has been shot with a live round since protests broke out in June over a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

The individual was unresponsive when medics arrived on the scene in the Sai Wan Ho district, and two protesters were taken away by an ambulance, according to the Hong Kong Free Press.

The shooting spurred online speculation that restrictions on officers using firearms were relaxed in order to curb Monday's strike, but police denied this in a statement.

"Online rumours stated that Police management have ordered frontline officers to recklessly use their firearms in today's operations," the statement read.

"Police clarifies that this allegation is totally false and malicious. Police has strict guidelines and orders regarding the use of firearms."

In the Sai Wan Ho district, where the shooting occurred, angered residents and protesters set up barricades, lit fires, and vandalised a metro station. Police fired tear gas and pepper spray in response.

The strike day on Monday was intended to call attention to the death of student protester Chow Tsz-lok, who fell from a car park while police carried out dispersal operations nearby and died on Friday after several days in hospital.

Protesters began building barricades on major thoroughfares and vandalising tunnel entry points around 7am on Monday in a bid to prevent commuters from travelling to work.

By midday, train lines and buses were crippled by the disruptions, with suspensions on eight of the territory's 11 train lines, according to the city's transport app.

Classes were cancelled at multiple universities after tear gas was deployed at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, according to local media.

Protesters also infiltrated malls as the strike is also meant to coincide with Singles' Day, China's anti-Valentine's Day holiday where single people are encouraged to buy themselves gifts.

The Hong Kong protests erupted in June over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be extradited to China.

The demands of the movement later grew to include universal suffrage and an independent inquiry into police violence against protesters.

Australian Associated Press