Police shoot driver who drove into Chinese Consulate in San Francisco

A driver who drove into the visa office of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on Monday afternoon was shot and killed by police, the San Francisco Police Department said.

According to a statement from the San Francisco Police Department, officers responded to the crash near Geary Boulevard and Laguna Street around 3 p.m., where they “found the vehicle stopped in the lobby of the Chinese Consulate.”

Police said the shooting occurred after officers contacted the suspect. According to police, officers and paramedics who arrived at the scene rendered aid before transporting the suspect to a nearby hospital, where the man died.

Sergei Molchanov, a graduate student in Stanford medicine who was there to apply for a visa, said about 20 people were in the waiting area of ​​the visa office when the car hit the building. He said the driver was a man in his 30s.

“This guy comes out of the car screaming and says, ‘Where The CCP,” Mr. Molchanov, 32, said. He said the driver used an expletive before “CCP”, a commonly used abbreviation for the Chinese Communist Party.

Mr. Molchanov said the driver tried to get back into his car, at which time security personnel stopped him and people began running out of the building.

“Why on earth would anyone bring a car to the consulate? He looked very angry,” Mr. Molchanov said.

Images circulated on social media showed a part of the consulate building covered with white tarpaulin cordoned off With yellow crime scene tape. one more Video posted on social media It showed people running from the building where the car, a blue Honda, was lying.

The investigation is ongoing and authorities have not released the name of the suspect. The Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco said in a statement that the driver had crashed into an area where the consulate handles documents, posing “a serious threat to the lives and safety of staff and people on site “

“Our Embassy strongly condemns this violent attack and reserves the right to assume responsibilities related to the incident,” the Consulate said.

The episode occurred just weeks before San Francisco is scheduled to host the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, where diplomats are expecting China’s top leader Xi Jinping to meet President Biden. Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the majority leader, is leading a bipartisan congressional delegation to China this week meeting with top leaders.

Mr Xi met Mr Schumer on Monday and said he hoped for “peaceful coexistence” with the United States. The Biden administration has been trying to stabilize its relations with Beijing in recent months amid rising geopolitical tensions over the status of Taiwan, which China considers part of its territory, and trade between the two countries.

People on Chinese social media reacted with shock and anger at the news. News of the accident was the most popular topic on China’s Twitter-like service Weibo and discussions about it were viewed nearly 100 million times.

Zixu Wang contributed reporting.

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