Man, 54, shot to death by police after knife attack at store

March 18, 2019 14:30
Police cordon off the area at a supermarket where a knife-wielding man attacked a store manager, prompting an officer to fire his weapon at the assailant, who then collapsed onto the floor (inset right, in red circle). Pics: RTHK, CCTV footage

A 54-year-old man was shot dead by the police in Kowloon peninsula over the weekend after the person failed to heed warnings and attacked a shop manager with a knife after an apparent quarrel.

At around 12.30 pm on Saturday, police patrolling an area in Yau Ma Tei noticed a man armed with a knife running toward Pak Hoi Street, prompting the officers to give pursuit.

The man ran into Kai Bo Food Supermarket, which is located at the junction of Reclamation Street and Pak Hoi Street, where he attacked a 50-year-old manager of the store.

According to reports, the man had visited the store earlier in the day and had exchanged words with the store manager after the latter became suspicious of the man's intent and asked him to leave. 

The man left the supermarket as told, but soon returned to the premises with a knife and started attacking the store manager.

As per CCTV footage from the store, which was released on Sunday, the man slashed the supermarket employee in the head. The knife used in the attack, it was later discovered, had been stolen from a roasted meat seller on the street.

According to the police, they gave two verbal warnings to the knife-wielding man after he entered the store and confronted the shop manager.

But the person failed to heed the warnings, prompting a male police constable to fire one shot at the man as he was trying to slash the manager again.

The attacker sustained a shot wound to his chest and collapsed onto the floor.

Both the attacker and the store manager were sent to Kwong Wah Hospital. The former, who had been brought in unconscious state, was certified dead later.

The store manager was conscious despite a knife wound to his head.

A female staff member of the supermarket was also sent to hospital after she suffered severe panic due to the violent incident at the store.

The store manager, a person surnamed Lau, told the media on Sunday that he was thankful to the police officer for having saved his life by opening fire at the knife-wielding assailant.

In a message posted on the department's official Facebook page, the police pointed out that under the Police General Orders, police officers are allowed to open fire in three circumstances, which are to protect someone, including themselves, from death or serious injury; to bring about the arrest of a person who has just committed a serious or violent crime; or to quell a riot or insurrection.

Investigation by the Regional Crime Unit of Kowloon West Region is underway.

Police have urged anyone who witnessed the quarrel between the dead assailant and the store manager, or may have background information in relation to the incident, to contact the investigating officers on a phone hotline.

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