A 54-year-old Hong Kong man wielding a knife was shot dead by police after he attacked a supermarket manager in Kowloon’s Yau Ma Tei on Saturday.

At around 12:30pm, the assailant surnamed Lee, who was allegedly a drug-user, went into a Ka Bo Food Supermarket on 78 Reclamation Street and struck a 50-year-old manager surnamed Lau on the head with a meat cleaver, Sing Pao reported.

Just before this, police officers patrolling at the junction of Reclamation Street and Saigon Street had seen the man, armed with a cleaver, running towards Pak Hoi Street. They immediately gave chase, and followed him into the supermarket, where he attacked the manager despite verbal warnings from the pursuing officers.

An officer fired a single shot at the attacker as he made another attempt to strike Lau with the cleaver.

According to superintendent Tsang Chung-bun of Yau Tsim District, the assailant had been seen arguing with shop staff a few minutes before the attack.

The assailant was said to have shoplifted from the supermarket on previous occasions, Sing Tao Daily reported.

On Saturday, Lau saw the assailant in the shop and asked him to leave, causing a quarrel.

Soon after, Lee returned with a cleaver and attacked Lau.

Lee later died at Kwong Wah Hospital after being sent there for treatment.

The supermarket manager, who suffered wounds to the back of his head, underwent surgery to remove broken bone from his skull.

The attacker had a long criminal record, including drug trafficking, possession of drugs, theft and wounding. He was arrested last month for possession of drugs, Oriental Daily reported.

The cleaver that was used to slash the manager was stolen from a nearby roast meat shop.

After the assailant stole a cleaver from a roast meat shop, police from a passing patrol vehicle gave chase.