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Crime

Police officer opens fire on BMW car being driven at him on Hong Kong highway – but vehicle gets away

Incident took place at Lam Kam Road Interchange near upscale Hong Lok Yuen housing estate after stolen van intercepted

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 30 August, 2018, 3:42pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 30 August, 2018, 9:46pm

A police officer fired a shot while trying to stop a BMW car being driven at him in northern Hong Kong on Thursday.

The bullet hit the left side of the silver-grey BMW, according to a police source.

After being hit, the car sped away along Lam Kam Road heading towards Sha Tin, the source said.

The BMW was later found abandoned on Island House Lane at Kwong Fuk Estate in Tai Po.

Police said initial information showed three men had jumped out of the car and fled before officers arrived. Another police source believed the three men were unhurt because no blood was found inside the car. No one has been arrested.

On Thursday night, Superintendent Kitty Chan Yi-ping of the New Territories North Regional Crime headquarters defended the sergeant’s decision to open fire at the vehicle as “legal” given the circumstances, though she stressed police would investigate the incident thoroughly, which was the protocol for all cases involving officers discharging their firearms.

“Given the threat to his life, the sergeant had no choice but to fire one shot at the target,” Chan said. “Police have very stringent standards on the use of force and in this incident, the sergeant had complied with all these standards.”

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The incident happened at Lam Kam Road Interchange at the junction of Fanling Highway and Lam Kam Road in Tai Po at about 1.45pm following a car chase from Fanling.

The chase occurred after police received information about a stolen van.

According to initial information, a delivery van that was earlier reported stolen was spotted in Fanling town centre at about 1.30pm, police said. An employee of the flour company that owned the van called police.

When the 23-year-old employee approached the van, it sped away. He jumped into his own delivery van and gave chase. He also called police. After a 5km high-speed pursuit from Fanling to the interchange in Tai Po, police intercepted the stolen vehicle after it and the delivery van collided.

The driver of the stolen van jumped out and fled on foot.

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A sergeant from the Emergency Unit ran from a police van involved in the pursuit. He chased the suspect who was seen getting into the BMW, which was believed to have come to pick him up, the source said.

The sergeant fired one shot as the BMW was heading toward him, the source added.

Chan said a small amount of methamphetamine, more commonly known as Ice, was later found in the stolen van. The sergeant felt unwell after the incident and was sent to hospital for a medical examination.

The other driver was taken to Alice Ho Miu Ling Nethersole Hospital in Tai Po for treatment after complaining of neck pain.

His boss told the media the stolen van was spotted at the same site 10 days ago.

It was the second incident in a month in which a police officer discharged their weapon. On July 31, a suspected triad member was wounded when a policeman fired two shots at a car being driven at him and another officer during a sting operation in Tuen Mun.