What we know about the shooting of driver at Chinese consulate in San Francisco

It was just a normal Monday afternoon at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco.

And then all chaos broke out.

A man suddenly drove a car through the consulate visa office on Geary Boulevard shortly after 3pm, officials said.

Police opened fire on the vehicle, striking the driver.

The man, who has not been identified, was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

No one else was reported as injured in the incident.

San Francisco police are now working with the US State Department to investigate the incident, with many questions still unanswered about who the driver is and what his motive may have been.

Here’s what we know so far:

What happened?

A driver reportedly sped into the Chinese consulate visa office in San Francisco shortly after 3pm on Monday afternoon, according to authorities.

Witness Sergii Molchanov told The San Francisco Standard that the driver shouted “Where’s the CCP (Chinese Communist Party)?” as he got out of the car.

Security guards then approached the bleeding man, according to Mr Molchanov, and held his arms back before police arrived.

Police said that officers arrived on the scene moments later and found a blue Honda car had come to rest inside the building.

Security personnel respond to the driver of a car which crashed into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco

(Sergii via REUTERS)

Officers entered the building and shot the driver after they “made contact” with the individual, police San Francisco Police Sgt Kathryn Winters said.

Multiple gunshots were fired during the incident, according to witnesses, before a bloodied man was loaded into an ambulance and driven from the scene.

The driver later died at hospital.

Bomb squad technicians and an explosives-sniffing dog attended the scene, The San Francisco Standard reported.

Mr Molchanov described the incident as “terrifying” and “shocking”.

“I’ve seen this on TV and to witness it in real life is quite different. People were terrified … I was quite shocked with all that and am still processing that,” he said.

San Francisco Police said it is currently unclear how many people were inside the building at the time of the crash.

Police advised people to avoid the entrance to the visa office at Laguna Street and Geary Boulevard, which remained covered in a white plastic sheet on Monday evening, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.

Who is the man shot by police?

Police said they are not yet releasing information about the suspect.

Sgt Winters said police could not disclose whether the suspect drove into the building intentionally or not.

The driver’s motive remains unclear.

San Francisco police investigate at the Chinese consulate in San Franciso on Monday

(Bay Area News Group)

It is also unclear if the driver was armed.

She added that there was very little police could say given that it is now an international incident.

What has the Chinese consulate said?

The Chinese diplomatic post in San Francisco issued a statement about the incident, saying 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”.

“Our mission has made solemn representations to the United States, demanding that the truth be quickly ascertained and dealt with seriously in accordance with the law,” the statement continued.

The US state department, meanwhile, has not yet responded to the incident.

The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China is on a major street near the California city’s Japantown neighbourhood.

The incident took place a month before Chinese president Xi Jinping is expected to attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Leaders Meeting in the city.

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