Policeman shoots attacker dead
A traffic policeman shot dead a man in Sham Shui Po last night in apparent self-defence while trying to stop what was believed to be a triad attack.
The policeman was at the junction of Pratas Street and Castle Peak Road when he saw five men, all armed with knives, getting out of a car at about 9.40pm.
They chased another man, who had just left a restaurant with three friends, and attacked him using the knives.
The policeman shouted at the gang to stop but his instructions were ignored. Then one of the men came at him brandishing a knife and he opened fire.
Lau Tat-keung, police assistant commander for the Sham Shui Po district, said last night: 'The officer issued warnings three times and one of the attackers ran at our colleague, waving his knife. The officer opened fire and the attacker was shot.'
Lau said the shot man, aged 36, was certified dead at about 10.30pm after being taken to the nearby Caritas Medical Centre.
The condition of the chopped man was not immediately known, but Lau said he had been chopped seven times and was being treated at the hospital.
'An off-duty officer from the Kowloon City district witnessed the whole incident,' Lau said. 'He helped the traffic police officer control the shot man and helped take care of the chopped man.
'We believe the attack was related to triads.'
Lau defended the traffic policeman's action, saying: 'We have reasons to believe that the suspects had committed a very serious crime and our colleague also needed to protect himself. The situation was that an attacker holding a knife approached him. It was absolutely right for the policeman to open fire.'
The four other men involved in the attack, one of them believed to be South Asian, were still at large. The police took videotapes from CCTV cameras at a restaurant nearby.
A blood-stained knife was left on the ground.
Witnesses said they heard a loud bang, then saw a man lying on the ground. They also said the policeman was still aiming his gun at the man after he fell, apparently still conscious.