Witness confirms man killed by SFPD after crashing car into Chinese Consulate 'had a knife'

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Wednesday, October 11, 2023
Witness says man who rammed car into Chinese Consulate 'had a knife'
Witness confirms the man who was killed by San Francisco police after crashing his car into the Chinese Consulate "had a knife."

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A new video is revealing more details on what happened inside the San Francisco Chinese Consulate on Monday, moments after a suspect drove his car through the front doors of the building.

"I was standing to the side and then everyone started freaking out the moment we realized that he had a knife in his hand. He was bleeding from his head. He wasn't making much sense. The guards were trying to fight him off with whatever was around them," said Audrey Sun, one of the witnesses.

As guards fought the suspect, they shouted for someone to call police. Audrey remembers the suspect making a clear request.

VIDEO: Police fatally shoot driver who crashed into Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, officers say

The suspect shot by police after they rammed into the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco has died, authorities said Monday evening.

"The guy just didn't respond and when he was able to get out of the car. The first thing he asked was 'where is the CCP?"' said Sun.

CCP is short for the Chinese Communist Party. Audrey ran along with 10 to 15 people to the back of the building where she describes feeling trapped as many hid behind a pillar.

"There were no doors that I could see. There was nowhere to run. Like no one was able to run at the back of the building. We were all pushed to a corner and there is like columns - like building columns inside and everyone was just standing in a single file behind a building column because that was the only shelter that we could actually find back there," said Sun.

As the group was able to exit the building a person claims to have seen a firearm in the back of the suspects' car. Minutes later, police arrived.

"A lot more police came in then that's when I heard gunshots. There were two gunshots," said Sun.

The suspect was shot by an officer and later died at the hospital. The Chief Medical Examiner has identified the suspect as a 31-year-old man from San Francisco.

Tuesday, the consulate was closed with multiple guards surrounding the building and a San Francisco police patrol up front.

"I'm lucky. I wasn't here yesterday so I was hoping that I was going to be able to pick it up. I applied for my Visa last Thursday and they gave me the receipt it was supposed to be today," said James Harwell who showed up for his visa appointment.

Harwell is one of many showing up Tuesday with questions.

"There is a lot of speculation - I don't really know what to think of it," said Harwell.

This incident comes just five weeks ahead of the APEC summit where China's president will be one of 23 heads of state in San Francisco.

VIDEO: Will SF be able to rehabilitate its image during next month's APEC summit? Here's what experts say

San Francisco faces one of the biggest challenges, to enhance the city's image and not give credence to what others are saying about ongoing issues.

The Bay Area Council said this incident solidifies the importance of more security at APEC.

"Safety is paramount in a convening like this where you have top leaders, heads of state. Top CEO's and other foreign dignitaries and guests coming to the city. Safety is going to be number one. No question about it. It was terrible to see that this incident in the Chinese Consulate yesterday," said Rufus Jeffris, with the Bay Area Council and added, "It serves as a strong reminder that we cannot be complacent on security."

San Francisco's Mayor London Breed confirmed the city is working with the Chinese Consulate and the State Department to investigate this incident.

"We don't want to jump to any conclusions or to speculate until we are clear about how this happened and why and the purpose. Of course, in light of so many things going on security for APEC when they come in November will be tight," said Mayor Breed.

The suspect's identity and motive are still unknown. The San Francisco police Department said they are investigating the incident and will hold a Town Hall within 10 days of the shooting.

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