Student Shot, Man Lit on Fire as Hong Kong Protests Escalate

A strike that was planned in solidarity for a 22-year-old protester who died last week turned more violent as pro-democracy protests surge in the city.

Hong Kong police shot a pro-democracy protester at point-blank range on Monday as the city continues to spiral amid months-long protests.

Police shot at least three live rounds at protesters during a morning demonstration in Sai Wan Ho. One bullet hit a 21-year-old protester who tried to intervene between a police officer and another protester. That man is reportedly hospitalized in “critical condition.” Hong Kong police said they would investigate the incident.

“We certainly believe our officer did not have bad intentions to hurt anyone,” police spokesperson Tse Chun-Chung said. “This case is under investigation by the regional crime unit of Hong Kong Island, we will look at all CCTV video and online videos to investigate the case in-depth."

November 11 has been one of the most volatile days of protesting since demonstrations began in June. Graphic video from another part of Hong Kong, Ma On Shan, appears to show a government supporter being doused with flammable liquid and set on fire after he reportedly shouted expletives at protesters. The man was hospitalized in “critical condition.” Riot police fired tear gas at thousands of protesters in the streets.

Monday’s solidarity strike was planned in Sai Wan Ho after a 22-year-old student died on November 8. The man fell from a parking garage as police used tear gas to clear protesters from the area. He had been in a coma since November 4.

The more than five months of violent protests have escalated as the calls for democracy continue. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam condemned the protests in a televised broadcast.

“The violence has far exceeded the call for democracy and the demonstrators are now the people’s enemy,” Lam said. “If there’s still any wishful thinking that by escalating violence, the Hong Kong government will yield to pressure, to satisfy the so-called political demands, I’m making this statement clear and loud here: that will not happen.”