July 12th, 2024

Suspect who crashed into Chinese Consulate in San Francisco armed with knife, crossbow, police say

By Olga Rodriguez, The Associated Press on October 19, 2023.

FILE - The five-star Red Flag flies over the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2023. San Francisco police could release new details and video Thursday, Oct. 19, of an attack earlier this month in which a man crashed a car into the Chinese consulate before he was shot and killed. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg,File)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – San Francisco police said Thursday that a man killed by police after intentionally crashing a car at the Chinese Consulate earlier this month was armed with a knife, and a crossbow and arrows, offering the first official details of the attack.

San Francisco Police Acting Commander Mark Im said at a virtual town hall that Zhanyuan Yang stood against a wall hiding a knife in his right hand. He says Yang then rotated toward a police sergeant and the security guard, exposing the knife and made “multiple, rapid, downward swinging motions with the knife towards the direction of the sergeant and the security guard.”

The officer then opened fire after Yang failed to comply with orders to get on the ground. Yang was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Yang, a 31-year-old San Francisco resident, rammed a car into the visa office of the consulate on Oct. 9. Investigators so far haven’t released a possible motive.

Sergii Molchanov was in line waiting for his turn to submit his visa documents when he said the blue Honda sedan barreled in through the main doors at full speed, barely missing him.

Molchanov told The Associated Press that the car struck a wall and the driver was bleeding from his head as he got out of the car, yelling about the C.C.P., an abbreviation for the Chinese Communist Party

Another witness, Tony Xin, told KTVU-TV that the driver was holding two knives when he exited the car and began arguing with security guards.

Police arrived less than a minute later, he said.

The crash was condemned by the Chinese government and by the White House. It took place as San Francisco prepared to host next month’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, a gathering of world leaders from Pacific Rim nations.

The San Francisco consulate has been targeted a number of times before. Among the most serious was a fire set by a Chinese man on New Year’s Day 2014 at the main entrance. It charred a section of the outside of the building.

The man, who was living in the San Francisco Bay Area, told authorities he was driven by voices he was hearing. He was sentenced to nearly three years in prison.

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