Sunday, August 10, 2008

Stabbing in Beijing............

The father of a former American Olympian was stabbed to death while sightseeing in Beijing with his wife on Saturday, stunning tourists and local residents.
A knife-wielding man attacked the two U.S. tourists at a popular Beijing attraction, killing Todd Bachman, the father of volleyball 2004 Olympian Elisabeth "Wiz" Bachman.
Elisabeth Bachman's mother, Barbara, was also attacked. She survived but suffered life-threatening injuries and is in hospital. The Bachmans' tour guide was also injured and taken to hospital.
The Bachmans are the in-laws of U.S. men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon, their daughter Elisabeth's husband.
Their attacker, a Chinese national, committed suicide after the incident. He threw himself off the second level of the Drum Tower, a 13th century structure about eight kilometres from the main Olympic site.
"For all intents, it appears to be a random attack by a deranged man," an American member of the International Olympic Committee, Jim Easton, told The Associated Press.
"The only thing we've heard is they were not identifiable except for a small volleyball pin which would probably be invisible to a guy."
American tourist Lynn Ledford said she hoped the incident did not take away from China's hospitality.
"I hope something like this doesn't end up being a stain on how China has been to us," she said.
Denise Carpenter, a Canadian tourist visiting the area, said Beijing was no less safe than any other major city.
"It doesn't matter if you're in Beijing or Toronto or London," she told CTV News. "Things like this are going to happen and you just have to be careful."
The attacks have devastated the U.S. volleyball team.
"They are deeply saddened and shocked," Darryl Seibel, a spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee said.
Team member Logan Tom broke down crying while discussing the attack.
"God, we all love Wiz," she said. "It's hard to put it in words. That's not something that's supposed to happen."
The midday attack is considered particularly shocking because violent crime against foreigners is rare in China, although Canadian model Diana O'Brien, 22, was murdered in Shanghai a month ago. Security in Beijing itself has been further tightened for the Olympics.

Xinhua, China's official news agency, identified the attacker as Tang Yongming, 47, from the eastern city of Hangzhou.
Interpol told AP that Tang appears to have been recently divorced. The news service reported he had not been seen by relatives for two months.
With a report by CTV's Lisa LaFlamme in Beijing and files from The Associated Press

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