Three people were stabbed near Lennon Wall in Hong Kong’s New Territories in the early hours of Tuesday morning, leaving one hospitalized and in a critical condition.
The incident happened at about 1:30am at the Lennon Wall tunnel – a pedestrian subway filled with anti-extradition bill sticky notes and messages about the pro-democracy movement. The tunnel connects King Lam Estate and Hau Tak Estate in Tseung Kawn O.
A middle-aged man dressed in a blue T-shirt and shorts and armed with a knife attacked two women and a man aged between 24 and 36. One woman was in critical condition, while the other woman – a journalist a the Hong Kong Economic Journal – was in a stable condition. The male victim has been discharged from hospital.
The suspect was at the scene before the attack and was seen chatting with people at the Lennon Wall on political issues and the demonstrations, according to the male victim and several witnesses.
The man then took a knife from his bag and stabbed a woman. The woman, aged 26, suffered two stab wounds to her shoulder. She tried to escape from the scene but lost consciousness and there were several pools of blood on the ground.
The man then stabbed another woman and a man before fleeing. They suffered injuries to the neck and back.
Video footage showing the attack was posted on social media and went viral.
The three victims were sent to hospital for treatment.
A witness told the Ming Pao Daily that she was jogging in the area and saw the attack. She ran after the man and saw him run towards Chung Ming Court, a nearby housing estate. Residents said the man ran into one of the buildings inside the estate.
Police arrived and seized a knife left on the ground inside the tunnel.
Surveillance camera footage showed the suspect entering Kar Ming Court and taking the elevator to the 21st floor. After a while, he was seen changing into a red T-shirt and leaving the building, news website HK01.com reported.
After hearing about the attacks on social media, many residents voluntarily formed groups and helped search the building for the suspect.
At 3am, they found clothes similar to those the suspect had worn in a rubbish bin on the 21st floor staircase. They reported their find to police. Police found a chopper with bloodstains on it inside the bin.
The suspect was said to be aged 40 to 50 and remains at large. Police are investigating the case.
The “Lennon Walls” of sticky posters have popped up in various districts across Hong Kong. They allow protesters to voice their thoughts on the anti-extradition bill movement.
However, the walls have also turned into a focal point for clashes between protesters and government supporters. A number of walls have been damaged by suspected gangsters or have been set on fire.
Meanwhile, police confirmed that a total of eight bean bag rounds were fired on August 11 from the Tsim Sha Tsui Police Station during clashes with protesters.
Li Kwai-wah, the Superintendent of the Organised Crime and Triad Bureau, admitted at a police daily press briefing on Monday that eight rounds of bean bags were fired in 6:30pm and 9:30pm on Sunday by more than one officer.
A woman was shot in the face by a suspected bean-bag round outside the police station. Doctors have said the woman faces the prospect of losing her right eye.
Li restated that the police had not confirmed if the woman was shot in the eye with a bean bag round, adding that the police force needed to investigate that day’s operation, the location of the woman when the shot was fired and the location of radical protesters as well as the condition of the damaged protective goggles.
Li said police had not taken any statements from the woman so far. He also said there was some discrepancy between the video and photos of the incident circulated on social media. He did not disclose the details of the discrepancy.
Police also said no “decoy operation” had been implemented at the mass demonstration on Sunday.
A video surfaced on social media showing a group of black-clad men entering Police Headquarters in Wan Chai at 10:40pm on Sunday, after the end of the march by 1.7 million people.
Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung from the Police Public Relations Branch denied sending any “decoy police” to join the mass demonstration. He said they were just officers dressed in casual wear and worked the night shift at headquarters.