Shooting stressed officer: inquest

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 September, 2007, 12:00am

A station sergeant who survived a gunshot but died weeks later on a jogging track had suffered from poor health and mental stress after being shot, an inquest heard yesterday.

Wong Siu-pang, 44, had been in good shape before the shooting despite a history of high blood pressure and had taken part in a marathon, his wife Hung Wai-man told the coroner's court.

But after he was shot in an Aberdeen underpass last September, he had trouble sleeping and worried about his physical condition and their sex life, Ms Hung said.

A doctor who gave evidence, however, rejected suggestions that Wong's injuries could have caused a sudden surge in blood pressure. Wong was injured after an emotionally disturbed constable grabbed another officer's revolver. The gun went off, wounding Wong's right inner thigh and scrotum.

Ms Hung said that despite her husband's first diagnosis of hypertension in 2000, he had maintained good health - he ran 8km to 10km daily and took part in a marathon in Holland.

'But after the gunshot, his health deteriorated, he was always tired and he couldn't sleep at night.'

They went jogging at Wan Chai Sports Ground with a doctor's approval. But on the morning of October 3, he collapsed after an hour of slow jogging and died after heart surgery at Queen Mary Hospital.

Doctors who treated him for the gunshots prescribed hypertension pills and wrote a reference letter for him to see a cardiac specialist. But he felt sick after taking the pills, so he stopped, Ms Hung said.

An orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, Chan Chi-fai, said that after his last consultation with Wong on September 21, he was satisfied with the sergeant's recovery.

He saw no evidence of heart problems as the deceased had not complained of chest pains.

Lawyer Wu Tung-wah, for the family, suggested that Wong's hypertension was under control after 2000.

He suggested stress resulting from worries over the gun injuries had caused the surge in Wong's blood pressure.

But Dr Chan said there was no medical literature to prove such a correlation.

He also said some patients with high press pressure might show no symptoms before they came down with heart disease.

The inquest continues today before coroner Michael Chan Pik-kiu.