Schools locked down as Triad suspect 'high on cough syrup' goes on chopping spree
Teachers guard schools with baseball bats until suspected triad member is subdued by police
Schools and kindergartens were locked down and shocked residents took cover on Cheung Chau yesterday as a suspected triad member went on a chopping spree that left two injured.
The 39-year-old suspect, believed to have been high on cough syrup, was subdued in the island's most heavily populated area after a confrontation in which he tried to draw a knife and a policeman drew his handgun.
At Kam Kong Kindergarten on School Road, more than 60 pupils were locked in classrooms for over two hours and the headmistress and her staff stood guard with baseball bats until they had news of the assailant's capture.
The spree began at 10.20am when the man chopped Lee Ho-long, 19, on the right arm and leg on Church Road then fled. Police were alerted at about 10.45am when Lee - who was attacked from behind and did not see the attacker - sought medical treatment at a Cheung Chau clinic.
But the second victim, delivery worker Law Hon-wai, 31, identified the man after he was attacked on Peak Road at 12.48pm, suffering injuries to his right hand. After a 45-minute search, officers stopped the suspect in Tai San Street.
"The man tried to draw a knife from his bag. As he ignored the police's warning, a policeman drew his handgun and subdued him," a police spokesman said. Officers seized the knife and bag.
Islands district councillor and Kwok Man School principal Raymond Lai Tsz-man said he began the lockdown after he learned of the first attack at about 10.40am. He told the other primary schools and kindergartens. All off-campus activities were cancelled.
Kam Kong Kindergarten's front and rear gates were locked after staff were told the attacker was at large at about 11.30am. Inside were more than 60 students and about 20 female staff.
"All the students were kept in the classrooms and guarded by teachers," one teacher said. "All the windows and doors of the classrooms were also locked."
She said several staff carrying baseball bats patrolled the grounds and the headmistress guarded the main entrance.
The two victims were airlifted to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan after being treated at the clinic.
Last night, the suspect was being held for questioning and had not been charged. He is understood to have been held earlier over a wounding case on the island in August in which another suspected Sun Yee On triad member was chopped in a fight.