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TOPSHOT - Police officers are seen outside the visa office of the Chinese consulate, where earlier a vehicle crashed into the building, in San Francisco, California, on 9 October 2023. (Photo by Laure Andrillon / AFP) (Photo by LAURE ANDRILLON/AFP via Getty Images)

Police Share Body Camera Footage of Driver Who Attacked Chinese Consulate

San Francisco police offered the first official details about the attacker who crashed his car at the Chinese Consulate earlier this month.

After the driver—Zhanyuan Yang—crashed his car into the consulate’s lobby on 9 October, at around 3 p.m. in San Francisco, California, he exited the car and stood against a wall, according to San Francisco Police Acting Commander Mark Im, who detailed the attack during a virtual town hall on 19 October.

During the meeting, police played body camera footage from responding officers, as well as 911 calls about the incident.

Yang was sprayed with pepper spray by a security guard and was hiding a foldable knife in his hand when police arrived on the scene, according to the Associated Press. In the body camera footage, viewers can see Yang, 31, was covering his face with his arm when approached by the security guard and a sergeant, who was first on the scene. The sergeant then began to pat down Yang’s back and asked if he had a gun. Yang, keeping his face covered, turned and made several quick swinging motions with his knife in the direction of the officers. The sergeant avoided the knife and shot Yang in response.

According to news reports, Yang was taken to a hospital where he died.

“The department’s internal review of police conduct in the incident was continuing, along with a separate investigation into the overall case itself,” Reuters reported.

Although police investigators served warrants at the San Francisco apartment where Yang lived, they have yet to identify a motive, according to the AP.

In the backseat of Yang’s blue Honda sedan there was another weapon—a crossbow loaded with arrows.

A witness at the crash who was submitting visa documents at the time said that when Yang exited the vehicle he was bleeding from his head and talking about the Chinese Communist Party.

“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,” the AP noted.

ASIS International and Security Management offer resources on preventing and responding to active assailants, including webinars, eBooks, and articles.