Protests rage across Hong Kong after man shot by police
A man who confronted a group of pro-democracy protesters was doused in a flammable liquid and set alight in the New Territories earlier this afternoon, as captured in a video seen by CNN and circulated widely on social media.
The full video is too graphic to be broadcast on CNN.
Aong Kong police source told CNN they are investigating the incident, which took place on Monday near Ma On Shan subway station in the New Territories.
The Hong Kong Hospital Authority told CNN that a man who sustained burn injuries in Ma On Shan has been admitted to the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sha Tin district and is currently in a critical condition in the Intensive Care Unit.
The video shows an unidentified, unarmed man remonstrating with protesters. He shouts expletives at the protesters, before saying "You are all not Chinese."
A person off-camera douses the man at close range with a flammable liquid, then uses a lighter to set him on fire.
After the man is fully engulfed in flames, it’s unclear how long the fire lasted or how the flames were extinguished. Later video shows the man standing, seemingly stunned. He is no longer on fire and isn't wearing his shirt, burns can be seen all over his upper body.
Video which appears to be from before the incident showed the man shouting at and chasing a group of protesters clad in black inside the Ma On Shan subway station.
Protesters began disrupting city transit as early as 7 a.m. local time, as part of their day-long general strike.
They built barricades and blocked roads in several locations, including the crucial cross-harbor tunnel that connects Hong Kong Island with Kowloon. Police said demonstrators also blocked roadways in Sha Tin, Tseung Kwan O, Tuen Mun, and Hung Hom districts.
Several subway lines experienced minor to severe delays, with some stations closed and routes partially suspended "due to an escalation of the situation in stations," according to the MTR subway operator.
Most of the closed stations and suspended subway service are located further outside the city center -- in the New Territories, Lantau Island, and Tseung Kwan O.
In a statement in the morning, police said they were continuing to clear barricades and disperse the protesters.
Earlier this afternoon, protesters and riot police faced off in Central, the city's financial center.
The shooting of a protester this morning sparked public outrage, escalating what had already looked to be a long day of demonstrations.
Protesters gathered in Sai Wan Ho, in eastern Hong Kong, where the shooting had happened. Police cordoned off the site of the shooting, and crowds standing behind the cordon lines shouted and swore at the officers.
Huge crowds then marched through Central, where police fired tear gas. Video footage from the ground shows people -- many office workers without masks or other protective gear -- coughing and doubled over, with some rushing into a subway station to escape the tear gas.
Black-clad protesters chanted "murder" as they marched past luxury fashion shops.
Riot police have now largely left Central, but many protesters remain. The ground is littered with bricks that protesters had dug up. Many office workers were sent home, and schools were shut and classes suspended.
The raging protests today and over the weekend have been fueled by anger over the death of a 22-year-old student.
Chow Tsz-lok, a computer sciences student at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died Friday morning. He had fallen and suffered a severe head injury in a parking garage on November 4, close to the scene of protests.
Chow had been in a coma and on life support until Friday. There is no indication that Chow was involved in the nearby protest the night of his injury.
Sorrow and anger: Protesters and fellow students mourned Chow's death throughout the weekend, with a vigil on Friday night and a memorial on Sunday.
But the tragedy also prompted an outpouring of anger. Protesters claim that police actions on the night of the accident resulted in paramedics being temporarily unable to access him.
Police deny accusations: Police expressed "profound sadness" over Chow's death, but have strenuously denied responsibility and maintained that at no point did officers obstruct ambulance or fire services from assisting him. A police statement released on November 5 described the allegations as "certainly false."
Early this morning, a police officer shot a protester in Hong Kong, the latest escalation in the pro-democracy, anti-government unrest which has been rocking the city for over five months.
Here's what you need to know:
- The shooting: A traffic officer shot a 21-year-old protester and fired two more live rounds in Sai Wan Ho, on eastern Hong Kong Island. The protester is undergoing operation and is in critical condition, hospital authorities say.
- Police response: Police confirmed the shooting, and said officers had drawn their guns in two other locations while dispersing protesters. They also denied "online rumors" of reckless firearm use, calling the accusations "totally false and malicious."
- Traffic disrupted: Protesters called for a general strike today in multiple districts, and have disrupted traffic across the city. Police say they built barricades and blocked roads. Subway lines are experiencing delays and partial suspensions.
- Tear gas and chaos: Police fired tear gas in the city's central financial district around lunchtime to disperse massive crowds of protesters, sending office workers running into subway stations to escape the gas.
- The catalyst: Protests this weekend were fueled by anger over a 22-year-old student's death Friday morning, days after falling and suffering a severe head injury in a parking garage close to the scene of protests. Protesters claim that police actions on the night of the accident resulted in paramedics being temporarily unable to access the student -- which police strenuously deny.