HONG KONG: A Hong Kong police officer shot a masked protest in an incident shown live on Facebook on Monday (November 11) while a man was lined up, during one of the most violent days of clashes that have seen since the government's outrage erupted for more than five months ago.
Protesters, who had already begun a city-wide action day aimed at paralyzing the international financial hub, responded to morning shootings by blasting through train stations, barricading streets and vandalizing stores.  Advertisement
A masked assailant also pulled a man with a flammable liquid and set him on fire during an argument. The scary scene was captured on mobile phones and quickly went viral.
Police said a protester carried out the attack and accused black-clad "insurgents" of a number of other violent acts, including throwing a gasoline bomb in a train car.
Protesters expressed rage at what they said was too much force used against them.
"Continuing this rage is a loss-loss situation for Hong Kong," said police spokesman John Tse at a press conference where he showed video of the man on fire, as well as a fire in a train.
The footage of the film – sent directly to Facebook by an onlooker – showed a police officer drawing a gun as he tried to detain a masked person at an intersection that had been blocked by protesters.
Another unarmed masked person approached the officer and was shot in the chest area, quickly fell to the ground, hanging on his left side. Local media said the protest was in critical condition after undergoing surgery.
Seconds later, another two live rounds were interrupted as the official skimmed with another masked protest that fell to the ground. Both were arrested by officers.
READ: Hong Kong protests: Tear gas fired in CBD, university as violence continues after firing protests
Hong Kong police said liver rounds were fired and one person was beaten.
A pool of blood could be seen near the first individual whose body initially appeared to be limp, although the person was later filmed consciously and even tried to make a leap for it.
The other man was conscious and called his name to reporters when he
Health authorities said three people were adopted from the incident, one with a gunshot wound.
The health authority told Reuters that a 21-year-old man underwent surgery and was in critical condition.
The man who was attacked by being shut up was taken to hospital in a critical condition, according to Tse.
Police first began using rounds of life as a warning shot in August and have shot an 18-year-old protester and a 14-year-old, both of whom survived.
Anson Yip, a 36-year-old resident of Sai Wan Ho, said protesters threw rubbish to create a road stop when police ran to the scene.
"They didn't fight and the police ran and fired immediately. There were three noises, like 'pam, pam, pam'," said Yip.
"They (the protesters) are against the government, that's why the police just shot them," he said.
The police later fired tear gas in the same area where the protest was shot. Protesters and residents formed a barricade of polystyrene boxes around the bloodstone next to a pedestrian after the police forensic team left the scene.
A 24-year-old man, one of several office workers who gathered at the scene after the shooting, said: "When I arrived, the road was blocked and people were shouting at the police and calling them murderers." The man just gave his last name to Wing.  INCREASE OF VOLEN
Hong Kong has endured 24 straight weeks of increasingly violent gatherings aimed at securing greater freedoms from China, which has governed the city under a "one country, two systems" framework since the surrender British 1997.
The protesters are desperate to stop what they see as Beijing's tightening control over Hong Kong and its renewal of its surrender commitment to allow greater freedom for the city than those on the mainland.
But Beijing has refused to give up, and instead warned that it is prepared to introduce even greater security measures.
Protesters have been enumerated for what they see as police brutality and Monday's shooting only fueled the atmosphere of the tinderbox.
"I don't understand why the police have to use that kind of brutality to harm innocent people. I think it's just without reason, without control," a 22-year-old IT worker, who gave his last name Chan, told AFP when she joined angry crowds in Sai Wan Ho after the shooting.
Monday's shooting was the first time protesters had been shot with live rounds by police. None of the shots have resulted in deaths.
Tensions in Hong Kong were already high after the death on Friday of a 22-year-old student who suffered injuries sustained by a fall near a police clearance operation a week earlier.
READ: Huge Hong Kong rally after student death and lawmakers arrested
READ: Hong Kong police shoot tear gas as protesters litter stores
Using online messaging forums, activists had called for a general strike on Monday morning .
Flashmob protests sprang up in several districts during the commute period, with small groups of masked protesters targeting subway stations and building barricades at intersections.
Services on certain train and subway lines were disturbed by traffic snarls and the riot police were deployed near stations and shopping centers.
Already before shooting in Sai Wan Ho had tear gas been ejected at at least two other locations.
A video circulated by protesters on message channels from the Kwai Fong district showed a policeman trying to ride his motorcycle several times to protesters who had gathered on a road.
Police also fired tear gas as they collided on a college campus with protesters who had built barricades and threw projectiles from behind a shield wall of umbrellas.
"I feel a strong sense of helplessness," said a Chinese university student who just gave his name as Chan. "Who doesn't want to join the class if they can? The government still doesn't listen to us."
He guarded a backyard at the university. The old Tai Po road that snakes up from Sha Tin and was often featured in black and white Cantonese films from the 1960s, barricaded with fencing, wooden boards, bamboo, poles, trays and other debris.
UNPOPULAR POLICY FORCE
Officers have been left to fight violent protesters and have now been deterred by large sections of the deeply polarized population.
Police have defended their tactics this summer as a proportionate response to protesters who have embraced throwing bricks and gas bombs as well as vandalizing pro-China companies and beating opponents.
But an independent investigation by the police has become a basic requirement of the protest movement, with general anger fueled by weekly videos of controversial police tactics and aggressive interactions with the local population.
READ: Hong Kong police watchdog leveled to investigate protest response: Experts
In an incident w raging, a police officer on Friday night called on protesters that he and his colleagues "opened a bottle of champagne" after the student's death.
The force said that the officer later existed for his language.  Both Beijing and Hong Kong elected leader Carrie Lam have rejected an independent investigation, saying that the city's current police watchdog is up to the task.
But last week, in an embarrassing setback, an international panel of experts appointed by the authorities said the watchdog does not currently have the capacity or resources to conduct such a huge probe.
The watchdog will release a report in early 2020, saying in a statement on Monday that the panel's views should not have been posted on Twitter by one of its members.
MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests
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