HONG KONG (AP) — In a fearsome escalation of violence, Hong Kong police shot a protester at close range in the chest Tuesday, leaving the teenager bleeding and howling on the ground. Tens of thousands joined anti-government demonstrations that spread across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory even as Communist leaders in Beijing celebrated 70 years in power.
The single pistol shot fired by the officer as protesters swarmed toward him hit the 18-year-old on the left side of his chest, police spokeswoman Yolanda Yu said. She described the protesters as “rioters” and said the officer feared for his life. The wounded youth was taken to a hospital for treatment, she added, without giving details about his condition.
While officers have previously fired warning shots in the air on multiple occasions during months of protests in Hong Kong, this was the first time a protester is known to have been shot. There were other instances Tuesday when officers also drew their weapons, including two with bloodied faces who pointed pistols, as protesters and riot police fought fierce battles at multiple locations in the city on edge, with many determined to spoil the Oct. 1 anniversary of Communist rule.
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