American Tourist Killed in Beijing (Updated)
One American tourist was killed and one more was injured while sightseeing at Beijing's Drum Tower at mid-day today, China's official news service Xinhua reported. Chinese authorities have identified the attacker as Tang Yongming, 47, from Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang Province. Xinhua reports that the attacker committed suicide by jumping off the tower after attacking the victims with a knife. The attack occurred around noon local time.
We're heading to the scene.
--Ariana Eunjung Cha
The American victims have been identified as Todd and Barbara Bachman, the parents of former U.S. women's volleyball player Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman. The Bachmans are from Minnesota. Wiz Bachman, a member of the 2004 Olympic team, is married to Hugh McCutcheon, the coach of the men's team.
The women's team was told of the attack around 5 p.m. Saturday at a team meeting, just five hours before its opening game against Japan. Many of the players who knew Bachman from previous national teams broke into tears.
Some excerpts follow...
BEIJING -- A knife-wielding Chinese man attacked two relatives of a coach for the U.S. Olympic men's volleyball team at a tourist site in Beijing, killing one and injuring the other on the first day of the Olympics on Saturday, team officials and state media said.
The man then committed suicide by throwing himself from the second story of the site, the 13th century Drum Tower just five miles from the main Olympics site.
The brutal attack shortly after midday was all the more shocking because of the rarity of violent crime against foreigners in tightly controlled China, which has ramped up security measures even more for the Olympics. ...
"They are deeply saddened and shocked," Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee, said of the volleyball team.
The U.S. Olympic Committee said in a statement that two family members of a coach for the men's indoor volleyball team were stabbed at the Drum Tower "during an attack by what local law enforcement authorities have indicated was a lone assailant."
One of the family members was killed and the other was seriously injured, it said, without giving details. ...
Seibel said the two Americans who were attacked were not wearing anything that would have identified them as Americans or part of the U.S. team. He could not name the coach.
"They were not wearing apparel or anything that would have specifically identified them as being members of our delegation" or as Americans, he told the Associated Press.
He said it is "too early to say" whether the U.S. delegation or athletes will require additional security.
U.S. Embassy spokesman Richard Buangan said it was aware of an incident involving two Americans and was working with Chinese authorities to find out more. He said U.S. officials were in contact with relatives of the two Americans who are in Beijing.
"Out of respect for the families involved, we can't say more than that," Don Q. Washington, another embassy spokesman, told reporters.
August 9, 2008; 6:55 AM ET
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