Officer feared for his life in shooting attacker

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 October, 2007, 12:00am

A police constable, who shot dead a convicted burglar and rapist after the man chopped him twice on the head, said yesterday that he did so because he thought his life was in danger.

Cheung Mah-yuk, who has two deep scars on top of his skull, told an inquest into the death of Sun Sheung-chung that he fired two shots when Sun kept lunging at him after inflicting the head wounds.

Sun, 47, died after being shot in the neck and chest in Tin Shui Wai in the early hours of January 4.

The coroner's court heard that police were on an anti-burglary patrol at Shek Po village when they found Sun counting money beside the main road in the village. Sun fled on a bicycle and Constable Cheung, who was also cycling, was ordered to give chase. Sun dumped his bicycle and jumped into bushes and the constable followed. When Constable Cheung caught up, Sun started to throw punches at him then pulled a chopper from his waist.

'He turned around and hacked the top of my head,' the policeman said. 'I couldn't fend off the attack and he chopped twice.'

Constable Cheung pointed his revolver at Sun, but he attacked again, cutting the finger of the policeman, who fired at his chest.

'After he was shot, he backed off a little but rushed towards me again with the chopper. He swung it at my head and neck another three or four times, but I fended it off with my left hand.'

He fired again at Sun's chest and this time he fell to the ground.

Holding his bleeding head with one hand, Constable Cheung kept the pistol trained on Sun until his colleague arrived. He said he had fired because he felt his life was in danger and believed Sun aimed to kill him with the chopper.

The court heard that Sun had been convicted of many serious criminal offences, including an attempted armed burglary in Yuen Long in 1998 in which he raped one of the victims and for which he was jailed for eight years.

The inquest continues today.