Police are searching for three people who fled after a car chase on Thursday that ended with an officer firing a shot in Tai Po in the New Territories.

Police received a report at 1.30pm from a 23-year-old man that someone was driving his employer’s van on Jockey Club Road in Sheung Shui, after it was previously reported missing, according to a government release.

The driver of the van sped off and the employer drove his van to give chase.

Officers of New Territories North Emergency Unit joined the chase but when they reached Lam Kam Road near Hong Lok Yuen roundabout, the driver of the stolen van mounted the road divider, trapping the van.

The driver jumped out to escape and got into a silver BMW that came to his aid.

When officers attempted to intercept the BMW, the car was directed towards a male sergeant, prompting the officer fired one shot at the target.

The bullet struck the left front door but no one was injured. The BMW accelerated off on Tolo Highway toward Tai Po.

At about 3.30pm, officers located the private car near Kwong Fuk Estate in Tai Po but no one was in it. Officers seized an amount of suspected methamphetamine and a number of bongs for smoking meth in the car.

Police are looking for three men, including the driver of the stolen van and two men in the BMW, Apple Daily reported.

New Territories North crime superintendent Kitty Chan Yi-ping said the sergeant fired the shot because he had no choice as it was a life-threatening situation.

The man who initially spotted the stolen van was an employer of a flour company in Sha Tin. The factory owner said the van was stolen when workers drove it to Fanling Town Center 10 days ago.