In an alarming escalation in the ongoing protests in Hong Kong, a masked protester was shot in the chest by a police officer on Monday morning. Three more live rounds were fired but it was not clear from the footage if any other protester was wounded. The incident happened as masked protesters trying to hold up Monday morning traffic clashed with the police.
The shooting took place at a busy road junction in the district of Sai Wan Ho, where the protesters were trying to block the road. The footage circulating on Twitter shows a police officer pulling out his gun even as he attempts to overpower a masked protester. Then another masked protester approaches the police, and the video shows the officer shooting him in the chest at close range. The man collapses in a heap on the ground and then two more live rounds go off.
Singapore's Straits Times reported that a second protester has also been shot. Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported that a surgery has been performed on the man who was shot in the chest.
Protests intensified in Hong Kong after a Hong Kong University of Science and Technology student, Chow Tsz-lok, died on Friday after he fell following the firing of tear gas shells by the police.
Hong Kong protests erupted after the administration of Carrie Lam proposed a controversial extradition bill that would allow the accused to be extradited to other countries including China. Though the bill was withdrawn in the face of the protests, the agitation has gone into the sixth months after it took on a broader pro-democracy overtones.
In another violent turn of events last week, Hong Kong's pro-Beijing lawmaker Junious Ho was stabbed in an apparent assassination bid. The controversial politician, who had drawn ire for publicly supporting people who had attacked the pro-democracy protesters, was attacked while he was campaigning at Tuen Mun for the upcoming local elections.
The graphic video of the stabbing posted online show a man talking to Junious Ho. He then pretends to take out his phone for a selfie, but instead takes out a knife and stabs the lawmaker in his chest.