Shot HK teen charged with rioting, attacking police

HONG KONG (AP) – The teenager who was the first victim of police gunfire in Hong Kong’s months-long pro-democracy protests was charged yesterday with rioting and attacking police.

The shooting occurred during widespread violence on Tuesday across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory that marred China’s National Day celebrations.

It has deepened anger against police, who have been accused of being heavy-handed against protesters.

The officer fired at close range as 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin struck him with a rod. The government said Tsang’s condition was stable after surgery.

The case against Tsang was heard by a court yesterday afternoon. He was among seven people charged with rioting, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Tsang also faces two additional counts of attacking two police officers, punishable by up to six months in prison. Tsang did not appear in court. Dozens of supporters, many in black, sat outside the courthouse.

Thousands of people rallied on Wednesday to demand police accountability for the shooting, with many saying the use of lethal weaponry was unjustified.

Pockets of black-clad youths vented their anger late on Wednesday night, lobbing gasoline bombs at police quarters, vandalising subway stations and blocking traffic in several districts. Police responded with tear gas in some areas.

More than 1,000 students marched yesterday at the Chinese University in a continuing show of support for Tsang and vowed to keep up their fight for more democratic freedoms. Many students felt that firing at Tsang’s chest, close to his heart, was an attempt to kill him.