In a dramatic incident on Monday, an individual who drove a vehicle into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco was fatally shot by police officers after a confrontation in the consulate’s lobby, according to authorities.
Officials say a car rammed into the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, coming to a stop in the lobby and creating a chaotic scene that ended with police shooting the driver, who later died at the hospital. https://t.co/KNyyeCEOLC pic.twitter.com/cx1koBjMsT
— ABC News (@ABC) October 10, 2023
The incident unfolded around 3:09 p.m. PT when the driver crashed into the lobby of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, which primarily handles visa matters.
Promptly responding to the scene, law enforcement confronted the driver within minutes and, during the confrontation, discharged their firearms, resulting in the death of the driver.
The deceased individual was subsequently transported to a local hospital, where they were pronounced dead. At this time, it remains unclear how many individuals were present inside the consulate during the incident, however, authorities have stated that no one else appeared to have sustained any injuries.
During a news conference held later on Monday evening, police declined to provide specific details regarding why they resorted to the use of firearms or whether the individual involved was armed. Furthermore, no information was disclosed regarding the intentions behind the crash or additional details about the driver or the incident.
A statement released by a spokesperson for the Consulate General of China in San Francisco expressed that the crash had caused “serious damage” to the building and placed individuals inside in “serious threat” of injury or worse. The statement went on to strongly condemn the incident and called for a swift and thorough investigation in accordance with the law.
Since then, the White House has released a statement, condemning the entire incident and the violence perpetrated towards the staff. Videos captured by a witness, Sergii Molchanov, showed individuals rushing past a blue car that had collided with a wall within the consulate, with debris scattered about.
Police fatally shoot driver who crashed into Chinese Consulate in San Francisco
Molchanov recounted his experience, stating, “I was inside waiting for my turn to submit the documents for my visa and suddenly a car in full speed crashed via the main door and hit the wall, just 2 (meters) from where I was sitting.”
The San Francisco Police, in conjunction with officials from the U.S. State Department, are collaborating with the Chinese consulate to investigate the incident. The Chinese consulate is situated in the city’s Japantown area, several blocks northeast of The Painted Ladies, a renowned row of colorful Victorian homes that are a popular attraction in the city.
Authorities have emphasized the exceptional nature of this investigation, highlighting its occurrence within the consulate’s lobby, and its involvement of multiple agencies and jurisdictions, setting it apart as a truly extraordinary case in contrast to routine shooting investigations.