20231010 police officers san francisco
Police officers are seen outside the visa office of the Chinese consulate, where earlier a vehicle crashed into the building, in San Francisco, California. Image Credit: AFP

San Francisco: US police said they shot dead a driver whose car crashed into the Chinese consulate in San Francisco on Monday.

Unverified footage on social media showed a vehicle inside the building with officers pointing their weapons at the driver's door, as people fled down stairs and into the open.

A spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department said the vehicle had crashed into the visa office of the consulate in the middle of the afternoon, but officers were unable to say whether it had been a deliberate act.

"Officers entered, made contact with the suspect and an officer-involved shooting occurred," a spokesperson for San Francisco Police Department told reporters.

The spokesperson said officers, paramedics and medics had tried to save the suspect's life, but that the person was pronounced dead at the hospital some time later.

The spokesperson gave no details about the suspect's identity.

The local ABC7 News channel said its crews had seen a man covered in blood and apparently unresponsive being taken away from the scene.

"This is an open and active investigation and the San Francisco Police Department is currently working in coordination with investigators from the US State Department."

San Francisco is home to a large number of ethnic Chinese residents, including many from Taiwan, a self-ruled island that Beijing considers a renegade province and has vowed to one day control.