SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A motorist who crashed into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco was fatally shot by police in the building’s lobby on Monday, according to local authorities. The incident occurred around 3:09 p.m. PT when the individual drove into the lobby of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, an office responsible for visa processing, said Sgt. Kathryn Winters, a representative for the San Francisco Police Department.
Police arrived on the scene within minutes of the crash, confronting the driver in the lobby. The driver was subsequently shot and transported to a local hospital, where they were later pronounced dead. The number of people present in the consulate at the time of the incident remains unknown, but no other injuries were reported, according to Winters.
During a press briefing on Monday evening, Winters refrained from commenting on why the police used lethal force or whether the deceased individual was armed. The sergeant also did not disclose if the crash was deliberate or provide further details about the individual or the incident.
A representative for the Consulate General of China in San Francisco issued a statement, indicating that the crash caused severe damage to the building and posed a “serious threat” to individuals inside. The consulate “strongly condemns” the incident and urged for a swift and serious investigation in accordance with the law.
Eyewitness Sergii Molchanov captured videos of the aftermath, showing people fleeing past a blue car lodged against a wall inside the consulate, surrounded by debris. Molchanov, who was inside the consulate to submit visa documents, recounted the driver exiting the car and shouting, “Where is CCP?” — a likely reference to the Chinese Communist Party. The driver then engaged in a physical altercation with security guards, Molchanov said.
San Francisco police, in collaboration with officials from the US State Department, are working with the Chinese consulate on the matter. The consulate, situated in the city’s Japantown area, is a few blocks northeast of The Painted Ladies, a popular tourist attraction in the Bay Area city. The lead agency for the investigation is yet to be determined, Winters said.