An 18-year-old involved in the Hong Kong anti-government protests was shot in the chest by police during a violent clash on Tuesday, 1 October
According to BBC News, the incident happened when thousands of people in Hong Kong took to the streets to tarnish China's 70th National Day celebrations in Beijing.
Throughout the four-month long protests against the pro-Beijing city administration, protesters have been hit with bean bag rounds and rubber bullets.
Tuesday's incident is the first injury from live ammunition, though Hong Kong police have previously used live rounds to disperse the protesters by firing them into the air.
Dramatic video footage of the shooting, which happened in Tsuen Wan district of Hong Kong, has since gone viral
In a video posted by Hong Kong University's Campus TV, the officer is seen firing at point-black range into the chest of a protester who was holding a metal pole in his hand.
In another video by Hong Kong City University's Student Union, the injured teenager was seen lying on the ground, saying, "Send me to hospital (sic). My chest is hurting, I need to go to a hospital."
According to Channel News Asia, police said that the wounded protester received first aid from officers, before paramedics arrived and took him to Princess Margaret Hospital.
"The officer felt his life was under serious threat, he fired a round at the assailant to save his own life and his colleagues' lives," said police senior superintendent Yolanda Yu Hoi-kwan
According to South China Morning Post (SCMP), Yu said the force is "saddened" that a teenager was injured by a live round.
"The round hit the 18-year-old at the area near his left shoulder. He was conscious when taken to the hospital," she added.
"His condition was stabilised, with the bleeding not life-threatening," said a source to SCMP.
According to the source, the injured teenager will undergo surgery at the cardiothoracic centre in Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Meanwhile, the fighting continued well into the night, leaving a trail of destruction across Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories. In total, 66 people were injured and more than 180 arrested.
Over the past 16 weeks, the demonstrations in Hong Kong have morphed into a giant pro-democracy movement
The anti-government protests were initially triggered by a now-shelved bill that would have allowed the extradition of accused individuals to mainland China for trial.
Currently, according to Al Jazeera, protesters are expanding their demands to include:
- An independent inquiry into alleged police brutality,
- A blanket amnesty for all those charged from their involvement in demonstrations,
- A retraction of the police claim that protesters are guilty of rioting, and
- The right to directly elect Hong Kong's top leader and all the legislators.
Protesters had vowed to steal the spotlight from China's National Day Parade to propel their calls for greater democracy onto the international stage
Almost in direct reply, Chinese President Xi Jinping said "no force" can shake the Chinese nation in a speech that marked the opening of the National Day celebrations, reported Channel News Asia.
China's major economic and military progress was showcased in the parade, which commemorated the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in Beijing.
The months-long protest began with a now-withheld extradition bill that sparked anger amongst Hong Kong citizens: