TWO hostages were wrestling for control of their captor's weapon when a police officer appeared at the rear door of the car and opened fire at point-blank range, an inquest heard yesterday. Taxi driver Ho Chun-ming, 40, told the officer that blood had been spilled needlessly - the gunman's weapon had been pointed at no one when the officer opened fire. 'I said: 'You didn't have to shoot, as I had already pressed the pistol down',' said Mr Ho. Handicapped Korean Kang Sang-bo, 31, died along with his captor after a bullet pierced his skull. The policeman fired into the taxi without warning the hostages, Mr Ho told the inquest. He said his hands were on top the Korean's and the gunman's when the policeman's bullet exploded into the hijacked taxi. 'After that shot was fired I noticed that the Korean and the culprit did not move,' he said. 'My whole hand was suddenly covered with blood.' The hostage drama began around midnight on October 13. Ku E-suen, 18, was standing in front of a telephone booth on Ice House Street in Central when Cheung Cho-yau, 23, appeared behind her. He grabbed her by the neck and shoved her into a taxi. At the same time Kang entered the vehicle through the other door. Mr Ho said the two doors opened and closed at almost the same time. The fugitive ordered Mr Ho to take him to Aberdeen where he said he planned to abandon his hostages for a speedboat to freedom. The hijacked taxi stopped at a roadblock near the floating restaurant in Aberdeen. Gun in hand, Cheung clambered over both Miss Ku and Kang to the opposite window. He rolled down the window and fired a shot. 'I was stunned,' said Mr Ho. 'I didn't know what was taking place. 'Police officers were on both sides of the taxi, surrounding my vehicle. In the rear-view mirror I noticed the Korean was pressing down the culprit's gun.' The taxi driver turned in his seat and also began to wrestle the gunman for control of the gun. Miss Ku took advantage of the confusion and fled the taxi, leaving the door open. As the three men struggled, a bullet cracked the rear window of the taxi. 'I shouted out: 'Help quickly! Help quickly!'.' Suddenly, a uniformed police officer appeared at the door, his pistol pointed at the rear of the taxi. 'He fired a shot very quickly once,' Mr Ho said. 'Then there was a silence.' His hand dripping with blood, the taxi driver fled the vehicle but after a few steps he tripped and fell to the ground. Two police officers carried him to shelter. Behind him, a voice was shouting at the taxi's occupants to step outside. Then there was more gunfire. 'I looked back and saw the Korean and the culprit lying on the ground outside the door of my taxi,' he said. Coroner Warner Banks observed that an independent report by Chief Inspector G. Jones, of New Zealand, concluded that the officers had acted 'impeccably' during the chase right up until the moment the taxi stopped at the barricade. 'A mobile hostage situation should be changed as soon as possible to a stationary hostage situation,' he said, citing the report. 'The police do not have anything to worry about until the taxi became stationary.' The inquest continues before Coroner Warner Banks.