Hong Kong police cordon off the site where officers shot at protesters. Photo: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
A Hong Kong protester was shot by police who opened fire on demonstrators during clashes in the city at the start of Monday's rush hour, local media report. A hospital spokesman told the BBC the 21-year-old man had surgery and was in a critical condition.
Why it matters: The shooting occurred as demonstrators "blocked roads and scuffled with riot police officers," some of whom fired tear gas during a general strike across the city, per the New York Times. While there have been clashes between police and protesters for the past 24 weekends, it's unusual for it to happen on a working day.
- The Asian financial hub was already on edge following the death last Monday of a student who fell from a parking garage as officers tried to disperse protesters.
What's happening: Video posted online by the Hong Kong production house Cupid Producer shows police firing three shots at protesters, one of whom fell to the ground after being struck in the torso at point-blank range.
- Police said the shooting happened in the Sai Wan Ho area of eastern Hong Kong, Bloomberg reports.
- A man was set on fire in another part of the city "in an apparent dispute over national identity," AP reports.
- Some train and subway services were disrupted amid the latest unrest, operators said.
- Police tweeted officers were "clearing the barricades that caused serious obstruction to traffic, and conducting dispersal operations." "Police warn the protestors to stop their illegal acts immediately," the tweet stated.
The big picture: It's believed to be the third time Hong Kong police have shot someone with live ammunition since demonstrations erupted in June, according to the BBC.
- The first reported police shooting of a protester occurred on Oct. 1, as the city marked China's 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule.
- The second shooting occurred three days later, when a teenage boy was "shot in the leg," per the BBC.
Driving the news: Authorities hoped the October withdrawal of an extradition bill that set off months of protests in the Chinese territory would calm unrest in the city.
- Protesters remain concerned that the high degree of autonomy they've experienced since the former British colony was returned to China in 1997 is under threat from Chinese authorities.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.