Hong Kong police chief confirmed late Tuesday night that a police officer was cornered to fire a shot at a rioter after he was besieged and attacked by radicals, which put the officer's life in danger.
The rioter was hit in the shoulder and the officer acted in self-defense, Hong Kong police commissioner Lo Wai-chung said at a Tuesday conference.
An 18-year-old man was shot near shoulder by police in Tsuen Wan around 4pm Tuesday, local media reported.
The man was later sent to the Princess Margaret Hospital, sources from the police said.
Rioters attacked police officers in a very violent way, with iron stick, bricks and petrol bombs, and our frontline officers' lives have been under serious threat, said Lo at Tuesday's conference, noting that after rioters ignored police warnings several times, police officers were left with no other choice but to fire the shot.
Video clips showed that the rioter assaulted the police officer next to him with a baton, prompting the officer to engage with self-defense.
The press conference came as the city has been engulfed by 18 consecutive weeks of riots which left 51 injured, two in serious condition and two in critical condition.
Police arrested more than 180 suspects involved in illegal assemblies and riots on Tuesday which have injured 25 police officers.
Lo said today is a sad day, and it's not the way to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Rioters scattered around 1 pm in different places including Wan Chai, Sha Tin, Tsuen Wan, all dressed in black. They illegally occupied the streets and disrupted the public transit. They dismantled road railings, dug out the bricks and stones on the ground, and set fire to trash bins. They also violently attacked police officers.
A group of rioters attacked a police van with sticks and other projectiles at the junction of Waterloo Road and Nathan Road. A few officers got out of the van to try to chase them away, but one officer fell to the ground and was assaulted by rioters, local media reported.