Hong Kong police fires gun for first time as he felt threatened by protesters
Water cannon also deployed for the first time.
A Hong Kong police officer fired his gun at least once on Sunday, Aug. 25, Hong Kong Free Press and multiple international media outlets reported.
This was the first time a live round has been discharged during the three-month-old protests.
Protesters and police clashed violently in Tsuen Wan, located about 10km from central Hong Kong.
This occurred after thousands of people attended a rally at a nearby sports stadium.
As seen on video, six uniformed officers were face-to-face with a large group of protesters armed with metal poles and bamboo sticks.
Several police officers drew their sidearms at one point.
One of the guns was fired once after officers drew their revolvers.
An officer had fired into the air because he felt his life was threatened, reporters were told by the police after the incident.
It was unclear where the shot was aimed.
Police confirms live round discharged
The scene was witnessed by at least one AFP reporter on the ground at that time.
Superintendent Leung Kwok-wing of the New Territories South Regional Crime Headquarters subsequently told the press: “According to my understanding, just now a gunshot was fired by a colleague,”
“My initial understanding was that it was a uniformed policeman who fired his gun.”
A uniformed officer fired a shot because “his life was in danger”, Leung said.
A police officer previously pulled out his weapon in the Hong Kong International Airport on Aug. 14, but did not fire it.
Protests turned violent again
A group of hardcore protesters erected makeshift roadblocks and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at riot police on Sunday after earlier peaceful protests by thousands took place in pouring rain.
Police then drove water cannon vehicles onto the streets for the first time too, in response to the violence.
Tear gas had been fired into the crowd to disperse them by that time, and signs were unfurled warning demonstrators jets of water would be deployed if they did not leave.
A crowd of protesters then ran away after jets were fired down from the moving trucks down a road.
Top photo via Apple Daily