Father of 21-year-old man shot dead by police brands killing 'ridiculous'

Debate over firearms use in force continues as officer draws his gun in Kwai Chung row

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 3:30am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 07 May, 2014, 9:37am

The father of a delivery worker shot dead by police on Monday slammed the force's handling of the case as "ridiculous" yesterday and said the use of firearms was not justified.

Delivery worker Ho Sai-tung, 21, was shot in the head and neck in Lam Tin on Monday while wielding a paper cutter at his estranged wife and others. An internal investigation is taking place.

Ho's father, Ho Wah, said the killing was "just ridiculous, period", adding: "He only had a paper cutter in his hand … his feet would tremble once you [police] fired a warning shot … You wouldn't need to fire three shots even when chasing criminals."

The case has prompted a debate on the use of firearms and sparked a war of words between Democratic Party lawmaker James To Kun-sun and high-profile former police superintendent Gregory Lau Tat-keung.

To on Monday questioned why police had not used nonlethal force to subdue Ho. But Lau said To's remark was "very irresponsible" and cited a 2005 case in which a police constable was left brain-damaged after being stabbed in the neck.

To said yesterday that the public should "demand that those who are authorised to use violence prove that they always abide by the law".

Meanwhile, Icarus Wong Ho-yin, convenor of campaign group the Civil Human Rights Front, called on police to make public their internal guidelines on the use of firearms and pepper spray, so the public could judge whether officers abided by the rules.

Police were involved in a second firearms incident yesterday, when an officer pulled his gun on a woman who wielded a chopper in Kwai Chung.

The 26-year-old mainland woman got involved in a row over gambling with her family at a restaurant in Shek Yam Road. She threw glasses, injuring her father-in-law, who was treated at the scene.

The woman had left the restaurant by the time police arrived, but returned while they were conducting inquiries.

"She drew a chopper from her handbag and was wielding the chopper in the street," a police spokeswoman said. "After repeated warnings were ignored, a police constable drew his revolver to subdue her."

The woman, whose two-and-a-half-year-old daughter was present, was arrested for possession of a weapon and assaulting a police officer and taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital. She was being questioned by police last night.