- Incident occurred in early hours of Saturday morning in Kwai Chung when officer fired three shots
- Two suspects, aged 27 and 43, were taken into custody by plain-clothed officers on anti-burglary operation
A Hong Kong police officer shot and wounded a suspected thief who tried to run him over in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The incident occurred on Kwai Tak Street, in Kwai Chung, as officers attempted to arrest two men, aged 27 and 43, they suspected of trying to steal a car number plate.
Police said the younger of the pair, who they described as Chinese with local identity cards, had driven at the officers at high speed when trying to escape.
Fearing for his life, one officer first fired a shot his warning failed to stop him, then fired twice at the car. After being taken into custody the 27-year-old was sent to hospital after sustaining injuries to his left arm and right rib cage.
The men were arrested around 4.30am on suspicion of theft from a vehicle, resisting arrest, and furious driving.
Hailing his officer's bravery, Chief Inspector Chen Chi-cheong said the shooting "had fully complied with the force's guidelines on using weapons during the law enforcement process".
Chen said police had been involved in an anti-burglary operation when they saw the two suspects drive a white car with false number plates onto Kwai Tak Street, and attempt to steal a car licence plate from a black vehicle there.
Chen said the officers identified themselves to the suspects and went to arrest them, but were attacked with a screwdriver and a wrench.
While police detained the older man, the other suspect ran back to their car and nearly hit officers when he drove off at high speed, he said.
The chief inspector said one officer drew his gun as the driver attempted to run him down.
"That colleague then pointed a gun at him and gave a warning in a loud voice," Chen said. "But the driver ignore that. As the warning was not effective, our colleague fired the first shot under the situation of protecting his life from being at threat."
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The officer opened fire again when the car continued to move towards him, the inspector said. The driver then turned around and stopped the car at the pavement, and the officer told him to get out of the vehicle, Chen said.
"But he did not do so and tried to drive away again … tried to hit our colleague. Our colleague fired the third round after his warning failed again," he said.
The 27-year-old was eventually arrested and officers found two machetes, a golf club, two car plates that did not belong to the white car, as well as a small amount of what police said might be drugs.
Chen said the car plate on the white car was linked to the case of another theft in Tai Po.
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