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Shot Hong Kong teenager to be charged with rioting

The shooting on Tuesday inflamed anger against police, who have already been accused of being heavy-handed against protesters.

Police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in Hong Kong (Vincent Thian/AP)
Police fire tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in Hong Kong (Vincent Thian/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The teenager who was the first victim of police gunfire in Hong Kong’s months-long pro-democracy protests is to be charged with attacking police and rioting.

The shooting occurred during widespread violence across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory that marred China’s National Day celebrations and has deepened anger against police, who have been accused of being heavy-handed against protesters.

The officer fired as 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin struck him with a metal rod on Tuesday.

The government said Mr Tsang’s condition was stable after surgery.

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There were violent scenes in Hong Kong on Tuesday (Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP)

A police statement said the case against Mr Tsang will be heard by a court on Thursday afternoon.

He will be among seven people charged with rioting and faces two additional counts of attacking police, the statement said.

It is unclear if Mr Tsang will appear in court, as the charges can be made in his absence.

Rioting carries a possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

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

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Residents gather at a shopping centre to protest over the shooting (Felipe Dana/AP)

Pockets of black-clad youths vented their anger late on Wednesday night, throwing petrol 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 on Thursday at the Chinese University in a continuing show of support for Mr Tsang and vowing to keep up their fight for more democratic freedoms.

Many students felt that firing at Mr Tsang’s chest, close to his heart, was an attempt to kill him.

But police defended the shooting as “reasonable and lawful” as the officer had feared for his life and that of his colleagues.

PA

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