Rioters conduct disruptive activities in Sai Wan Ho, south China's Hong Kong, Nov. 11, 2019. (Xinhua)
The Hong Kong police said on Friday noon that they are investigating a murder case in which a senior off-duty sanitation worker died in hospital late Thursday after being hit in his head by a brick hurled by a rioter.
Senior Superintendent Chan Tin-chu of the New Territories North Regional Crime Headquarters said that police have primarily confirmed what happened according to descriptions of witnesses and video footage.
A group of black-clad rioters set up roadblocks near North District Town Hall in Sheung Shui on Wednesday. They clashed with residents who tried to clear the road, throwing iron rods, bricks and other hard objects at the latter.
The victim, 70, was hit in the head by a brick when filming what was happening with his phone. He was knocked down to the ground and fell unconscious. The death was announced late Thursday at hospital.
The man, an outsourced worker of the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, was walking past the clash spot alone on his lunch break.
This is the first death of an innocent civilian since the now-withdrawn ordinance amendments concerning fugitives' transfers sparked unrest in Hong Kong that escalated into severe violence.
The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government expressed outrage over the malicious acts of the rioters, saying the police will follow up the case thoroughly to bring offenders to justice.
Rioters more frequently and brutally assaulted residents in recent days as police have reported three serious assaults on innocent people.