Man charged with shooting at China consulate

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 19, 2011 9:18 PM
Man charged with shooting at China consulate

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A 67-year-old man from Las Vegas was charged on Monday with shooting at the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles, in a violent outburst that left no one injured, authorities said.

Jeff Baoliang Zhang, the man accused in the shooting on Thursday, is a naturalized U.S. citizen who lives in Las Vegas and is originally from China, Los Angeles police said in a statement.

Zhang took part in a small protest outside the consulate on Thursday related to human rights in China, and then acting independently from other protesters he opened fire and drove away in a car, police said.

Shots hit the consulate building, but no one was injured, authorities said.

After turning himself in to police on Thursday, he was charged on Monday with assault with a semiautomatic firearm and shooting at an inhabited dwelling, said Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles District Attorney's Office. He was using a 9 millimeter Smith and Wesson handgun, she said.

He is scheduled to appear before a judge for an arraignment on Tuesday, Gibbons said. He is being held in jail on $1 million bail, according to the website of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

He faces more than 20 years in state prison if convicted, prosecutors said.

It was unclear what protest group Zhang was part of on Thursday before opening fire on the consulate.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Greg McCune)