Macau police fired three shots to foil a robbery attempt outside the entrance of the New Century Hotel and Greek Mythology Casino yesterday, injuring an armed Hong Kong man. The 40-year-old man arrived in Macau on Wednesday and had gambled away all his money, said police Inspector Lou Iok-chun. 'We believe he decided to resort to illegal activities after that,' Inspector Lou said. Police believe the man acted alone in what was the most serious violent incident in Macau since it was rocked by triad wars before the handover five years ago. The Greek Mythology Casino is one of Macau's newest. It is owned by Ng Man-sun, who bought the New Century in 1996. At 10.20am, three policemen heard what sounded like a gunshot, said Chief Senior Inspector Koc Soi-leng. They arrived to find the suspect threatening a couple with a knife. Witnesses said the male victim injured his thumb as he tried to defend his wife. The suspect then pointed a gun at an approaching policeman, Inspector Koc said. When the policeman fired, the suspect ran away and fled in a white Toyota Corolla. Police fired again through the car's rear window as it sped away. The armed man, who was shot in the shoulder, lost control of the car, knocked down a motorcycle and crashed into a wall near a hot-pot restaurant on Taipa. Police arrested the man and found a gun and a knife in his possession. They closed surrounding roads and searched the casino and hotel for possible accomplices. They would not speculate on how a Hong Kong man who arrived in Macau two days earlier to gamble could obtain a gun and a car. 'We're still at a very preliminary stage of the investigation and there is a lot of information we don't have at this point,' Inspector Lou said. Police officers at the scene reported they fired a total of three shots. Three bullet shells were found at the scene but police would not say whether the suspect had fired his weapon. Four charges have been filed against the Hong Kong man - using a forbidden weapon, bodily assault, robbery and resisting arrest. Yesterday's shooting at the New Century Hotel follows several shooting and bombing incidents outside the same hotel shortly before Macau's 1999 handover as triad disputes degenerated into violence. In August 1998, a government prosecutor and his pregnant wife were shot by a motorcyclist driving by outside the hotel. In July 1997, two Portuguese workmen and a Filipino security guard were injured during another drive-by shooting outside the New Century.