Suicidal mainland Chinese man jailed for snatching gun from Hong Kong police officer and shooting him

High Court heard that depressed man had earlier tried to kill himself in restaurant by biting his wrist

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2016, 7:05pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2016, 9:24pm

A suicidal mainland Chinese man was jailed for 40 months by Hong Kong’s High Court on Tuesday after he snatched a pistol from a policeman in a hospital and shot the officer in the arm.

The court heard that Huang Shide, 36, snatched Chao Shing-chi’s pistol on September 15, 2014, in a bid to kill himself in a “more effective way”.

The incident happened in North District Hospital after he was admitted after trying to take his own life by biting his wrist.

While there, eight people, including nurses and others, tried to stop him but failed.

Shooting of police gun at hospital raises safety concerns

The pistol eventually went off six times amid a struggle, with a bullet hitting Chao’s right arm.

Huang pleaded guilty on Tuesday to one charge of wounding the policeman, another of possessing arms or ammunition without a licence and a third of dangerous or reckless use of a firearm.

His barrister, James Tze Ying-kuen, told the court in mitigation that the incident stemmed from the depression Huang was suffering after the unemployed man from Guangxi province travelled to Hong Kong only to find he was not able to contact the man who originally promised to offer him a job.

He said Huang then developed thoughts of killing himself.

“He bit his wrist to kill himself rather than cut it,”the counsel said.

The court heard that after drawing blood in a restaurant, Huang was taken to the accident and emergency unit at North District Hospital in Sheung Shui.

His inability to say who he was led to his arrest on suspicion that he had breached his conditions of stay. But it turned out he did have a valid visa at the time.

In the hospital, he pushed Chao away and snatched his pistol when his handcuffs were loosened.

Two policemen, two nurses, a pair of hospital assistants and two others attempted to stop Huang, but six shots were fired, one of which hit Chao.

The man told police that his plan on the day was to fire three shots to scare away others so he could use the gun to kill himself.

Passing sentence, Mr Justice Patrick Li Hon-leung refused to impose a hospital order on the basis that the accused had been suffering from depression. He said an order was not enough to reflect the seriousness of the case.

But he told the defendant that he would be let out soon as he had been remanded for some time and urged him to take his medicine as prescribed.

Speaking outside court, Tze said his client was expected to be released in December.