A Hong Kong police officer has fired his weapon to disperse angry demonstrators chasing him with rods. Police deployed water cannon for the first time, along with tear gas, after a minority of protesters turned violent
An initially peaceful march by pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong on Sunday turned violent, prompting a police officer to fire his weapon for the first time since the protests erupted three months ago.
As tens of thousands of protesters rallied during heavy rain at a nearby stadium, a hardcore group took over a major road in the city’s Tsuen Wan district, erecting makeshift roadblocks and digging up bricks from the pavements.
To try to regain control, authorities hoisted large banners to warn protesters of the impending use of tear gas and water cannon.
— Charlotte Chelsom-Pill (@charlottejourno) August 25, 2019
Several rounds of the chemical were subsequently deployed. Authorities then fired the water cannon jets, prompting protesters to return fire with bricks and Molotov cocktails.
At one point, an officer fired a gun into the air after he was attacked by eight to 10 protesters carrying sticks and rods, police said.
Multiple local outlets are reporting that three #HongKong police officers drew their service pistols in Tsuen Wan.
A warning shot was fired into the air, according to RTHK, as two men on their knees pleaded with officers not to fire.
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) August 25, 2019
There have been no reports of injuries in relation to the firearm discharge.