A 40-year-old security guard was in police custody yesterday after an elderly man was shot in the chest with a powerful air gun as he crossed the street in Ho Man Tin.
The 83-year-old victim was in serious condition at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Jordan last night after receiving surgery to remove a lead pellet from his chest.
He was hit from a distance while crossing Sheung Lok Street with his wife at about 7am as they were returning from exercising in a nearby park.
Kowloon City district councillor Luk King-kwong said the man did not realise he was shot until his wife noticed blood on his shirt.
"[He] complained of feeling pain in his chest and the front part of his shirt was soaked with blood," Luk said. "He was conscious while being carried into an ambulance."
At about 8.30pm, the hooded and handcuffed suspect, described by police as a war games enthusiast, was brought back to his home for a house search.
Police confiscated six air rifles and three air pistols along with four canisters of plastic pellets from a 34th-floor flat in Choi Man House, which is about 100 metres from where the man was shot.
The seized air guns have been taken for ballistic examination to determine if they have been illegally modified.
Chief Inspector Ko Yuk-yee, of the Kowloon City district crime squad, said the victim's injury was not life-threatening.
Before the security guard's detention, officers wore bullet-proof vests as they conducted a door-to-door search of the apartment block.
Officers picked up the suspect after his father returned to the flat and they noticed air guns inside the apartment.
Police also found a dozen dents in a metal traffic sign on the other side of Sheung Lok Street, about 20 metres from where the victim was shot.
Peter Chan, the owner of Guns and Guys air gun shop in Yau Ma Tei, said: "An air rifle firing 4.5mm metal pellets could shoot at a range of 200 metres to 300 metres and pierce through an empty soft drink can."
An air gun that produces more than two joules of power is considered a firearm under Hong Kong law.
No charge had been laid against the suspect last night.