Man fires shots, kills himself at Chinese consulate in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AFP, Reuters) - A man of Chinese origin fired shots outside Beijing's consulate in Los Angeles on Tuesday (Aug 1) before turning the gun on himself in his nearby car, police said.

"When officers arrived, they found the suspect to have a self-inflicted gun wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene," Sal Ramirez, a spokesman for the LA Police Department (LAPD), told AFP following the early morning incident.

He said there were no other victims and it was not immediately clear if the gunman, in his 60s, had any political motive.

There were no other injuries in the shooting, which took place at about 6 am before the consulate was open for the day, said LAPD officer Michael Lopez.

"Numerous rounds impacted the Chinese consulate," Lopez said.

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

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

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

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency reported that the gunman was in his 60s and possibly of Asian appearance, according to consulate officials who cited police.  

The report also cited consulate security staff as saying the gunman fired his weapon at least 17 times, leaving bullet holes in the windows and facade of the consulate building.

Authorities did not immediately identify the gunman and had few other details about the incident.

Lopez said police did not typically release information about suicides.

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