16 years for man in shootout drama

AN ILLEGAL immigrant was jailed for 16 years following an incident in which a young policeman was shot in the hip with his own revolver after the gun was grabbed from his holster.

Prosecutor Richard Donald told the High Court yesterday the shooting happened as Constable Ng Fong-tuen, 19, tried to arrest Li Wang-jun, 26, when he was spotted trying to steal a scooter.

As Li, 26, lay pinned to the ground, he snatched Constable Ng's service revolver from his holster and fired twice at the officer hitting him once. Li then turned the .38 Smith and Wesson on Sergeant Lau Kai-tak, 41, but missed.

After giving police the slip, Li hijacked a car, ordering the motorist to drive off and threatening him with the revolver.

As the car sped away, police fired shots through the rear window and Li fired back through the shattered glass before releasing his petrified hostage, the court heard. Officers fired 29 rounds during the shootout with Li in Shekkipmei on March 6 this year.

During the gun battle, Li took over the steering wheel. But he lost control of the car and rammed it into a nearby parked vehicle.

Li was arrested and was taken to hospital with two minor gunshot wounds.

Deputy Judge Burrell jailed Li for 13 years for using a firearm to resist arrest and 13 years for shooting at Sergeant Lau with intent to prevent arrest. The sentences are to run partially consecutively, making a total of 16 years. Li admitted both charges.

He also pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm with reckless disregard for the safety of others and was jailed for four years to run concurrently with the previous sentences.

His counsel, Joe Kenny, said Li had acted in panic and had not come to Hong Kong deliberately to carry out a violent crime.