Hong Kong Police have confirmed that an officer shot a protester with a live round in Tsuen Wan and said the officer did it to save “his own life and that of his colleagues”.

In a video posted on the Facebook, Police Senior Superintendent Yolanda Yu said “a large amount of rioters” ignored warnings and continued with their violent assault on a group of officers on Tai Ho Road.

She said the officer fired the shot “to save his own life and that of his colleagues’ at the scene, as their lives were under “serious threat”.

In the statement, Yu said the 18-year-old was hit “in his shoulder area” and was conscious when he was taken to hospital.

Video footage at the scene, however, showed the protester, a form five student from a school in Tsuen Wan, was bleeding heavily from his chest.

Yu said they don’t want to see anyone injured in the incident, saying it’s “heart-breaking”.

The statement also said police will continue to sternly enforce the law.

But pro-democracy lawmakers condemned the police, accusing them of escalating the use of force by firing a live round from point-blank range.

In a joint statement signed by all 24 councillors from the camp, they questioned if the live round was necessary, wondered if the officer was attacking the protester, rather than defending himself.

The lawmakers argued that policemen have clearly “lost control” of themselves and have been violently treating not only protesters, but also ordinary citizens, journalists, medical professionals, social workers and councillors.

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Last updated: 2019-10-01 HKT 10:29