A young protester in Hong Kong has been shot by a live round and is in critical condition, according to local media reports.
Footage of the incident on Oct. 1 apparently shows him being shot at close range with a pistol during clashes with several riot police in Tsuen Wan.
Other footage shows him bleeding from the chest, and being attended to by medics who gave him an oxygen mask at the scene.
He was also filmed conscious for a short period before he was taken to hospital, saying: “My chest really hurts.”
According to Oriental Daily, he is in critical condition.
The protester is a senior high school student, RTHK reported.
The incident occurred during citywide protests coinciding with the 70th anniversary of communist rule in China. It marked the first time a protester has been shot by a live round during almost four months of protests against Chinese communist encroachment into the city.
Police have previously fired live rounds during clashes, but no one has been reported to have been injured.
Fifteen people were wounded on Tuesday after a day of running clashes between police and protesters, with one person in critical condition, Hong Kong’s Hospital Authority said.
Earlier in the day, thousands of black-clad pro-democracy protesters defied a police ban and marched in central Hong Kong, urging the Communist Party to “return power to the people” on its founding anniversary.
Thousands of other people amassed for rallies at multiple locations in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory, which was under a tight security clampdown. At least 11 subway stations were closed, and scores of police stood guard outside government offices.
“Today we are out to tell the Communist Party that Hong Kong people have nothing to celebrate,” said activist Lee Cheuk-yan. “We are mourning that in 70 years of Communist Party rule, the democratic rights of people in Hong Kong and China are being denied. We will continue to fight.”
Later in the day, police fired tear gas at several locations across the city to disperse protesters. In Admiralty, molotov cocktails were thrown at police, prompting police to fire water cannon with blue-dyed water at protesters and tear gas.
Since June, protesters have taken to the streets in largely peaceful demonstrations to oppose a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed people to be transferred to the mainland for trial in courts controlled by the Communist Party. As the protests developed, their concerns broadened to include calls for democracy.
Although Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced the bill’s withdrawal in September, protesters’ concerns have not been assuaged. They have continued to come out en masse to demand universal suffrage and an independent investigation into allegations of police brutality.
Associated Press contributed to this report.