Three shot in growing triad turf war
Police promise crackdown on activities of rival factions after latest in series of revenge attacks
Three suspected triad members were wounded in a pre-dawn shoot-out in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday in what police said was part of an escalating turf war among triad gangs in the area.
The wounded men were among a group of five who had just left a private club in Austin Avenue after watching the World Cup final when they were fired on at 5am.
Two of the men were in a serious condition in Queen Elizabeth Hospital last night, while the third was stable in Kwong Wah Hospital.
The shooting is believed to have stemmed from an argument at a disco last month that has since spurred a series of revenge attacks.
It brought a pledge from police to crack down on all businesses controlled by rival triad factions Wo Sing Wo and Wo On Lok, whose members are suspected of being involved in the attacks.
'We will conduct daily raids on entertainment premises controlled by the two gangs, such as mahjong parlours, saunas, karaoke nightclubs and discos, in the Kowloon West region until all their activities begin to die down,' a senior officer said.
The wounded men are thought to be Wo Sing Wo members.
The five men were collecting two luxury cars - a Mercedes and a Lexus - at the corner of Austin Avenue and Kimberley Road when they were ambushed by two men.
'One of them was holding a shotgun and fired four shots from a distance of about 10 metres,' said Chief Superintendent Choy Kin-cheung, of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau.
Although the second suspect 'was carrying a pistol-like object', there was no evidence to suggest the weapon had been fired.
A male passer-by told Cable TV: 'I heard a loud bang and then saw a man carrying a shotgun. He fired three to four shots. A strongly built man was injured in his chest and bleeding.'
A watchman at a block of flats at 92 Kimberley Road said he arrived for work at 7am to find blood on the carpet inside the main entrance and a blood trail and bloody footprints in the lift lobby.
'Officers said that one of the injured victims ran into the building to hide after the attack,' he said.
Police said another wounded man ran for about 300 metres before collapsing in Austin Road outside the Gun Club Hill Barracks. The third victim was found at the scene of the shooting. The gunmen sped off in a stolen car that was found torched about 20 minutes later in Yau Ma Hom Road, Kwai Chung.
Heavily armed police wearing bullet-proof vests and helmets mounted a search of the area.
A section of Austin Avenue and Kimberley Road was closed to traffic for about eight hours. Four spent cartridges were seized. The two cars were later towed away for examination.
A police source said the attacks had come after a dispute over a 'trivial matter' between members of the rival gangs in the Cyber Eight disco in Nathan Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, early last month.
On June 6, two workers and two clients at the disco were injured by three or four masked men in an apparent revenge attack.
On July 2, a 30-year-old man thought to be an active Wo On Lok member suffered multiple chop wounds in an attack by eight masked men after his car crashed during a high-speed chase.
The suspect who fired the shotgun is thought to be aged between 20 and 25, and about 1.79 metres tall. He was wearing a black cap, a dark green T-shirt and black-framed glasses.
TSIM SHA TSUI BATTLEGROUND
A g1 unman fires four shots with a shotgun, gunning down three suspected triad members outside St Mary's Canossian College. One victim is found wounded at the scene
2 The three victims aged between 35 and 40 are among five men leaving a private club in Austin
3 Another victim runs to an adjacent building
4 Third victim runs to the Gun Club Hill Barracks in Austin Road
After the shooting, the gunman flees in a black car which is later found torched in Yau Ma Hom Road, Kwai Chung