Gunman kills himself after firing at Chinese consulate

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A man opened fire at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, then took his own life in his car nearby, police said.
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AFP

Police and coroner’s staff examine a car in front of the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles after a man, said to be of Asian origin, fired at least 17 shots at the building before killing himself on Tuesday.

A man opened fire at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, then took his own life in his car nearby, police said.

No one else was injured in the shooting, which took place around 6am before the consulate opened for the day.

Los Angeles police officer Michael Lopez said: “Numerous rounds impacted the Chinese consulate.”

Lopez said the man was discovered in his car, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Reporters who arrived at the scene shortly after the incident saw six bullet holes in the consulate building, with one on the metal address plate, two on the facade near surveillance cameras and three in windows.

A consulate security guard told reporters that the gunman shot at least 17 bullets before killing himself in his car.

It was not immediately clear if there was any political motive, local media cited a police source as saying.

The Chinese consulate, in a short statement, said it was extremely concerned about the incident and asked the United States to take all necessary measures to protect the security of the building and the diplomats working there.

China also asked the US to get to the bottom of what had happened, it added.

Authorities did not immediately identify the gunman and had few other details about the incident. Lopez said police did not typically release information on suicides.

One media report said that, according to consulate officials, the gunman was in his 60s and of Asian appearance. It also said police officers had confirmed the man to be of Asian origin. They said he was found in his car with a bullet wound to his chin. 

Earlier, consulate officials had said that a media report saying the shooter was Chinese was “just speculation.”

Police investigating the incident will make clear the gunman’s background in the next few days, the officials said.

They said the consulate opened to the public on Tuesday as normal. 

In 2011, a naturalized US citizen originally from China was arrested after he opened fire at the same building with a handgun. There were no injuries in that incident.

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