“Tasteless Detective” Chan Sze-ki, who lost his sense of taste and of smell after being shot by thieves in the head in 1992, has died of lung cancer in Haven of Hope Hospital in Tseung Kwan O, Ming Pao Daily reported Tuesday.
He was 51.
Chan had a legendary life.
He was promoted to detective inspector four years after he joined the police force as a constable.
But the rising star was shot directly in the head while exchanging fire with gangsters in an operation in Tai Kok Tsui 23 years ago.
Chan, who once said he was born to be a detective, miraculously survived and solved several major cases afterward.
Director Johnnie To made a movie about Chan, starring Sean Lau Ching-wan.
His health deteriorated in recent years. He suffered from urinary incontinence and memory loss.
He also was at risk of epilepsy and the leakage of cerebral spinal fluid.
Chan went to mainland China for medical treatment when he was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2012.
He recovered from the cancer and went back to work a year later.
Chan was hospitalized again in May this year after suffering a stroke.
Tung Yiu-ming, a spokesman for the Junior Police Officers Association, told Ming Pao Daily he had worked with Chan a few times.
He described Chan as hard-working, returning to his post after he was severely injured in the shooting.
Chan’s wife supported and took care of him through these years.
His daughter is studying politics at a university in Britain.
She worked as an intern in a government department this summer so as to be able to keep her father company in Hong Kong.
Chan said earlier that his dream was to attend his daughter’s graduation ceremony, but it is not to be.
Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung expressed deep regret at Chan’s death.
The Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association and the force’s welfare office will offer assistance to Chan’s family.
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