San Francisco Police have released bodycam video and other information regarding an incident at the Chinese consulate earlier this month. On October 9, a Chinese national crashed his car into the consulate, scuffled with police, and threatened them with a knife before he was shot and killed.
In a virtual “town hall” meeting late Thursday, San Francisco Police Chief William Scott and Acting Police Commander Mark Im provided details of the incident. As part of its transparency policy, the SFPD provides the public with information regarding any officer involved a shooting.
In the report, the officials said at about 3 p.m. local time October 9, officers responded to a report of a vehicle that crashed into the lobby of the Chinese Consulate, located in a residential neighborhood of San Francisco. The dispatcher originally reported the driver was armed with a gun and that a 911 emergency call indicated the crash was intentional.
Police at the scene, along with consulate security guards, engaged with the suspect, 31-year-old Zhanyuan Yang. They used pepper spray to subdue him and ordered him to the ground, but he refused.
When officers attempted to pin him against a wall, Yang produced a knife and swung it at them. One of the officers drew his weapon and shot Yang, who was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.
While no gun was found at the scene, police report they found a loaded crossbow with arrows in his car. The knife Yang carried had an 8.8-centimeter blade.
Police offered no motive for the incident and said the investigation is continuing. They identified Yang as a Chinese citizen but gave no details of his immigration or visa status.
The incident drew the attention of China’s foreign ministry, which, during a regular briefing, noted local police dealt with the incident in timely manner, but urged U.S. officials to swiftly investigate the incident and take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese diplomatic personnel.
The U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman issued a statement condemning the incident.
The crash occurred weeks before an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit is to be held in San Francisco, where U.S. officials have indicated a hope that China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, and U.S. President Joe Biden could meet.
Some information for this report was provided by the Associated Press and Reuters.