A dubious footage on social media showed a vehicle inside the building with officers pointing their weapons at the driver's door, as people fled down stairs and into the open.
San Francisco: A suspected armed attack rammed his car into the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, causing staff and visitors to flee the office in fear. Heavy police force was deployed in the area and the department urged the public to stay away from the area. Television cameras showed a vehicle that crashed into the building.
A dubious footage on social media showed a vehicle inside the building with officers pointing their weapons at the driver’s door, as people fled down stairs and into the open.
— Sergii 龍天 (@sergii_san) October 10, 2023
A spokesman for the consulate said the suspect had driven “violently into our consulate’s administration hall, posing a serious threat to the lives of staff and people on-site and causing serious damage.”
San Francisco Police Department’s Sergeant Kathryn Winters said officers responded after being alerted to the vehicle having crashed into the visa office.
“This is an open and active investigation and the San Francisco Police Department is currently working in coordination with investigators from the US State Department,” Winters said.
The consulate spokesman said the body “strongly castigate this violent attack and reserves the right to pursue accountability for the incident. “The Consulate has made solemn representations to the US side, requesting a prompt investigation into the truth and a serious punishment in accordance with the law.”
San Francisco is home to a large number of ethnic Chinese residents, including many from Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing considers a renegade province and has vowed to one day control.
This is not the first such incident as the Chinese Consulate has twice been damaged in arson attacks, most recently in 2014 when a man took two buckets of gasoline from a stationary van outside the compound and poured it in front of the building.