Chow Tsz-lok, a 22-year-old student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, died Friday of brain injuries he suffered in a fall as police dispersed protesters from a parking garage earlier this week.
At the suburban garage where Mr Chow fell, thousands waited in a long line to light candles and place white flowers and paper cranes at the spot where he fell.
Activists also blocked roads and trashed subway station entrances, sparking cat and mouse confrontations with the police in multiple neighbourhoods. A police spokesman said an officer fired a warning shot in the sky after he was surrounded by protesters in one area. The protests have since morphed to include calls for greater democratic freedoms amid fears of China's increased control over the territory. "The police obstruct the ambulance work, but they deny it". Police are investigating exactly what happened in the case, which intensified anger against police.
A hospital official, identified only as Chow, sad the youth died Friday morning but couldn't give further details.
Protesters had been hurling objects from the building, in the type of confrontation that has become routine.
His death is expected to spark fresh protests and escalate public outcry against the police force, which is already accused of using excessive force in its bid to quell the city's worst political crisis in decades.
Police have acknowledged that tear gas had been used Sunday night to disperse protesters near the auto park where Chow fell.
"Reports that Chow Tsz-lok was fleeing tear gas when he fell demonstrate the dangers of indiscriminate deployment of tear gas, and underline the need for the Hong Kong police to exercise restraint and try to deescalate clashes with protesters".
Wu and a police spokeswoman also rejected accusations that officers delayed paramedics getting to the scene.
The university issued a statement saying it was deeply saddened by Chow's death and it expressed its deepest sympathy to his family, adding that it would offer them all necessary support, the broadcaster reported.
Alex Chow, a 22-year-old computer science undergraduate, was certified dead at 8.09am on Friday, Queen Elizabeth Hospital said.
HKUST president Professor Wei Shyy announced Chow's passing during a graduation ceremony at the campus on Friday morning. The ceremony was cut short, and black-clad masked students turned the stage into a memorial for Chow.
Global Times called the local students involved in the fracas "politically brainwashed, nearly losing their ability of independent thinking" and suggested that one student had faked being pushed by a mainland student in order to instigate violence against the mainlander. "We will be outraged if there is no acceptable explanation offered to us".
Protesters gathered across the city, taking part in mourning events.
The protests were triggered by a government effort to introduce a law allowing extraditions of criminal suspects to mainland China.
The bill was withdrawn in September but demonstrations continued and now call for full democracy and an inquiry into police behaviour.
"The only goal was to disperse the protesters who had gathered, thrown hard objects and attacked the police in that area", he said.