American tourist killed in Beijing

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Two relatives of a coach for the American Volleyball team, and their tour-guide, were attacked by a knife-wielding Chinese man Saturday.

Beijing's Drum Tower
Image: David Balch.

Todd and Barbara Bachman of Farmington, Minnesota USA, in-laws of Hugh McCutcheon- head U.S. indoor men’s volleyball coach, were touring the Drum Tower in central Beijing when the attack occurred. Mr. Bachman was killed, his wife and their tour-guide were injured and are undergoing treatment at Peking Union Medical College Hospital.

Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon, wife of Hugh McCutcheon and a member of the 2004 United States women’s Olympics volleyball team, was also present for the attack on her parents, but was herself uninjured.

The attacker, identified by Chinese state sources as Tang Yongming, a 47 year old from Hangzhou, Zhejiang leapt to his death from the tower's second story in what was labeled a suicide.

A United States Olympic Committee spokesman stated that the victims weren't wearing anything that might have marked them as Americans or as associated with a US team. He further stated that it wasn't known whether the U.S. men's volleyball team would compete in a match scheduled for Sunday and that no extra security was planned for U.S. athletes.

U.S. President George W. Bush and his wife Laura were in the city for the Olympic games. Mr. Bush stated, “Laura and I were also saddened by the attack on an American family and their Chinese tour guide today in Beijing. The United States government has offered to provide any assistance the family needs.”

Todd Bachman was the CEO of Bachman's, Inc; a regional chain of garden centers based in Minneapolis. He was sixty-two years old.