Hong Kong Student Dies From Head Injury After Police Fired Tear Gas During Clashes

Government spokesperson expresses “great sorrow & regret”

A Hong Kong university student died Friday after falling in a parking garage during violent clashes between protesters and police, the region’s Hospital Authority said.

Chow Tsz-Lok, 22, fell from the third floor to the second floor of a garage Monday in the Tseung Kwan O district after law enforcement fired tear gas at protesters and suffered a severe head injury, The Associated Press reported Friday.

Hong Kong government spokesperson expressed “great sorrow and regret” over Chow’s death, CNN reported.

“The police … stated earlier that they attach great significance to the incident and the crime unit is now conducting a comprehensive investigation with a view to finding out what happened,” the spokesperson added.

Police say they believe Chow, a computer science student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, plunged from the third floor of the garage, and while they have not ruled out the possibility that the 22-year-old could have been running from tear gas, they maintain that law enforcement fired from a distance, according to AP.

University of Science and Technology students mourned Chow’s death. The university canceled a graduation ceremony scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday, the graduation organizing committee said in a statement, saying the school is “struck with grief.”

Some mourners and protesters chanted, “Hong Kong people, revenge” and “A blood debt must be paid in blood.” Protesters blocked streets, set fires and vandalized train stations Friday in response to Chow’s death, AP reported.

The 22-year-old’s death comes after a Hong Kong police officer shot an 18-year-old student on Oct. 1 during a protest against China’s celebration of 70 years under communism, according to The New York Times.

A since-withdrawn extradition bill that would have sent Hong Kong residents convicted of crimes to mainland China for trial sparked protests across Hong Kong that have been ongoing since June.

The bill was one of five demands made by Hongkongers who have kept the protests going. The other four include Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s resignation, an inquiry into police brutality, the release of those who have been arrested and more democratic freedoms, according to CNN.

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Cornelius Rupert T.
Cornelius Rupert T.