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10 Oct, 2023 05:24

Driver rams Chinese consulate (VIDEO)

The vehicle came to a stop deep inside the lobby of the diplomatic facility
Driver rams Chinese consulate (VIDEO)

A driver has slammed a car into the Chinese consulate building in San Francisco, California. The vehicle completely smashed through the front door before the driver was neutralized by police.

The collision took place on Monday afternoon around 3pm local time, San Francisco police reported, noting that officers had made contact with the driver soon after that. Footage circulating on social media purportedly showed the aftermath of the incident, with a blue sedan seen inside the building as frightened bystanders fled the scene.

SFPD officer Sgt. Kathryn Winters said the driver had been shot by officers and later died of their injuries despite “life-saving efforts.” The suspect has not been identified.

“When officers arrived here on scene, they found the vehicle had come to rest inside the lobby of the Chinese consulate. Officers entered, made contact with the suspect and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” she said.

The spokeswoman added that the driver’s motives remain unclear, but noted there were no other injuries reported following the crash. She could not say how many people were inside the compound at the time of the collision.

Beijing’s diplomatic mission in San Francisco responded to the episode in a statement, saying that an “unidentified person drove violently into the document hall of the consulate, posing a serious threat to the safety of the staff and people at the scene, and causing serious damage to the facilities and property of the consulate.”

The consulate added that it “strongly condemns this violent attack and reserves the right to pursue responsibility for the incident,” though it did not say who it would seek to hold accountable in light of the driver’s death.

Police Sgt. Winters said local authorities are now coordinating with the US State Department and Chinese consulate officials to investigate the apparent attack, but stated it would be a “very complex” probe.