A family dispute in Sha Tin, where three responding officers were shot by a man using a service revolver he grabbed from one of them, raised concerns about the adequacy of training for frontline staff of the police department.
Police said at about 5:30 a.m., they received a report that a man was quarreling with his mother in a flat at Mau Lam House of Kwong Lam Court in Sha Tin and making a huge noise, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
Four male and one female uniformed officers arrived at the scene and tried to calm the mother and her son down. The dispute was reportedly about the sale of their apartment.
While two of the officers were talking to the mother near the elevator outside the flat, the 29-year-old son, who was reportedly drunk, suddenly got emotional and made a scene in the corridor.
As three officers tried to control him, he suddenly snatched a revolver from one of them and fired three shots at close range.
A sergeant, who led the responding team, managed to subdue the man and recover the gun.
According to a police statement, one of the officers, a male constable, sustained gunshot wounds to his right elbow, right thigh and right calf but was in stable condition after undergoing an operation.
Two other male constables sustained abrasions to hands and legs. Both were discharged from the hospital after receiving medical treatment.
The man was arrested for assault and wounding of officers (shooting with intent).
Some of the neighbors expressed concern that the man was able to easily snatch the officer’s gun, a Smith & Wesson M10 revolver.
After expressing sympathies to the injured officers at the hospital, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung told media that his department was launching a thorough investigation.
He wanted to know how the suspect was able to take the officer’s service firearm so as to prevent a similar situation from happening again.
A lawmaker said the incident suggested that police training should be enhanced.
An active-duty police officer said it was not easy to snatch a gun from an officer because the weapon is fixed inside the holster by a metal clip and even if the clip is opened, it still would be difficult for another person to pull the weapon out of the holster.
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