Police Deputy Commissioner (Operations) Tang Ping-keung said the action taken by a police officer in Tsuen Wan on Tuesday was lawful and reasonable.
Mr Tang made the statement today in response to the public’s concern after an 18-year-old was shot by the police officer on Tai Ho Road.
He dismissed allegations that officers had shoot-to-kill orders and explained the circumstances.
“In fact, at that time our police officers were attacked by a group of rioters on Tai Ho Road and our officers were outnumbered.
“In one heated moment, one officer was pushed on the ground and surrounded and attacked by over 10 rioters with offensive weapons like a spanner, a hammer and iron bars. Some even used sharpened poles to poke him.”
Mr Tang added that several police officers were also attacked by rioters charging in all directions and throwing bricks and rocks.
“Our officers’ lives were under great threat and so they pulled out their service revolvers as a precautionary measure and as a warning.
“Despite the warning, one assailant still continued his attack and charged at the officer who held up his revolver.
“At that juncture, in order to protect his own life and his colleagues’ lives, the officer fired a shot at the assailant and subdued him.”
Mr Tang made it clear the reason the officer fired his revolver was he thought his life was in danger.
“The only objective was to shoot to stop the life threats and it was in line with our guidelines and international standards and that the officer shot at centre mass.
“The use of force was undoubtedly lawful and reasonable,” he added.