Hong Kong boy, 2, shot by air gun while playing outdoors; police launch search for culprit

Child sustains 5mm wound to forehead near his right eye and is taken to hospital for treatment

PUBLISHED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 1:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 01 September, 2017, 10:56pm

Hong Kong police are searching for the culprit who shot a two-year-old boy with an air gun at a public housing estate on Thursday.

The child was shot while playing near a flower bed in an area outside Ming Kok House in Ming Tak Estate, Tseung Kwan O, around lunchtime. His 34-year-old mother was sitting on a bench at the time.

“He suddenly cried, then fell and sat on the floor. I immediately rushed towards him and found he was bleeding from his forehead,” the mother told local Chinese-language media.

The boy suffered a round 5mm-wide wound on his forehead near his right eye and was treated at a nearby private clinic before being taken to Tseung Kwan O Hospital.

The mother said her son might have been blinded if the shot had been any closer and hit his eye, the report said.

About 40 officers from the police tactical unit were deployed to comb the area and gather evidence at about 9pm on Thursday.

According to police, the woman made a report in the afternoon and officers were treating it as a case of “wounding”.

“Initial investigations indicated the boy’s injury was caused by a plastic pellet fired from an air gun,” said senior inspector Law Sai-to of the Tseung Kwan O district crime squad.

He said 11 plastic pellets were seized at the scene, and police were investigating whether any of the pellets were linked to the incident.

He said officers were poring over security camera footage to gather evidence. But he refused to reveal whether the culprit was shot from one of the flats in Ming Kok House.

According to police, causing injury with the use of an air gun is classified as a “wounding” offence.

“It is a serious offence that carries a maximum penalty of a life sentence,” Law said.

At about 2pm on Friday, scores of officers returned to the housing estate and scouted the area.

Detectives from the Tseung Kwan O district crime squad were investigating. So far, no one has been arrested.

The incident prompted Democratic Party lawmaker Ted Hui Chi-fung to write to the Tseung Kwan O district commander, chief superintendent Siu Kit-hung, and demand a thorough investigation.

Police appealed to anyone with information to contact officers on 3661 0742.