A riot police officer points his projectile launcher as his colleagues detain demonstrators in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong on October 1, 2019
A riot police officer points his projectile launcher as his colleagues detain demonstrators in the Sha Tin district of Hong Kong on October 1, 2019
Photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP

Hong Kong: The teenager who was the first victim of police gunfire in Hong Kong's monthslong pro-democracy protests was charged Thursday with rioting and attacking police.

The shooting occurred during widespread violence Tuesday across the semi-autonomous Chinese territory that marred China's National Day celebrations. It has deepened anger against police, who have been accused of being heavy-handed against protesters.

The officer fired at close range as 18-year-old Tsang Chi-kin struck him with a rod. The government said Tsang's condition was stable after surgery. The case against Tsang was heard by a court Thursday afternoon. He was among seven people charged with rioting, which carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.

Tsang also faces two additional counts of attacking two police officers, punishable by up to six months in prison. Tsang did not appear in court. Dozens of supporters, many in black, sat outside the courthouse.

Thousands of people rallied Wednesday to demand police accountability for the shooting, with many saying the use of lethal weaponry was unjustified.

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