“With their lives under serious threat, an officer fired one warning shot into the sky to protect their own safety”, a police statement issued on Monday morning said.
Media reports say the officer who fired a warning shot was an undercover officer, but the police statement made no mention of this, saying only that the officers had been “executing duties near Wan Chai MTR station.”
The police also “strongly condemned” other violent acts committed by protesters, who “blocked roads illegally, hurled petrol bombs at police officers and set fire at multiple locations.”
The statement also said officers used tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bag and sponge rounds against protesters who had thrown petrol bombs at officers, set fires, and thrown objects at government headquarters only after the crowd ignored repeated police warnings.
The force reiterated “that no violent acts will be tolerated”, and “police will continue to take resolute enforcement action so as to safeguard the city’s public safety and bring all lawbreakers to justice.”
A government statement said the administration “severely condemns the radical protesters” who had gone on a “rampage” – hurling petrol bombs, setting fires, and vandalising public property and MTR stations. A spokesman said the protesters had completely disregarded the law, and their acts “seriously undermine social order.”