2008 Beijing Drum Tower stabbings

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Location Drum Tower, Beijing, China
Date August 9, 2008
Attack type
Stabbing, murder-suicide
Deaths 2 (including the perpetrator)
Non-fatal injuries
Perpetrator Tang Yongming

On August 9, 2008 in the People's Republic of China, two American tourists and their Chinese tour guide were stabbed at the historic Beijing Drum Tower; one of the tourists was killed.[1][2][3] The assailant then committed suicide by jumping from the tower. The incident occurred during the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. The incident has been described as isolated since attacks on foreigners while visiting China are rare.[4]

Events and victims[edit]

The Drum Tower of Beijing

Three people were stabbed in Beijing, China, on August 9, 2008, by 47-year-old Tang Yongming of Hangzhou, while visiting the 13th-century Drum Tower in Beijing during the 2008 Summer Olympics.[5] The victims were Todd Bachman, a prominent horticulturalist from Lakeville, Minnesota,[6] his wife Barbara, and their female Chinese national tour guide. Todd Bachman, who died in the attack, was the father of American athlete Elisabeth Bachman and the father-in-law of Team USA men's volleyball coach Hugh McCutcheon.[7] Barbara Bachman was severely wounded but survived the attack.[8] The female Chinese tour guide was listed in stable condition at the Chinese hospital, as was Mrs. Bachman.[9] One of the Bachmans' daughters, Elisabeth Bachman McCutcheon, was also on the tour but was uninjured. The attacker then leaped to his death from a 40-metre (130 ft) high balcony on the Drum Tower. US Olympic Committee Chairman Peter Ueberroth and US President George W. Bush each offered his condolences.[5]


Tang Yongming spent most of his life in the outskirts of Hangzhou, and was a metal presser at the Hangzhou Meter Factory for more than twenty years. He had no previous criminal record, according to investigators.[10][11] Investigators reported that Tang was distraught over family problems.[12] A colleague who knew Tang said that he had "an unyielding mouth", "grumbled a great deal", and was "very cynical".[11] Another former co-worker said Tang 'had a quick temper and was always complaining about society".[11] Police report that Tang went through his second divorce in 2006 and grew increasingly despondent when his 21-year-old son started getting into trouble. The son was detained in May 2007 on suspicion of fraud, then received a suspended prison sentence in March 2008 for theft.[12]


  1. ^ Gregory, Sean (2008-08-09). "A Murder Clouds the Olympics". TIME. Archived from the original on 16 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  2. ^ Tang, Theresa; Tang, Eugene (2008-08-09). "U.S. Olympic Coach's Relative Killed in Beijing". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  3. ^ "Attacker Kills U.S. Tourist in Beijing". YouTube. Associated Press. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  4. ^ "Relative of U.S. Olympic coach killed in Beijing". The Houston Chronicle. Associated Press. 2008-08-09. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  5. ^ a b American killed at Games was coach's father-in-law. CNN. 2008-08-09
  6. ^ "Bachman's Inc. Chairman and CEO Todd Bachman Killed, Wife Barbara Bachman Seriously Injured in Random Attack in China". Wall Street Journal. 2008-08-09. 
  7. ^ Magnier, Mark; Osnos, Evan (2008-08-09). "A dark turn in Beijing as U.S. Olympic coach's in-law slain". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 17 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 
  8. ^ Lerner, Maura (2008-08-20). "Bachman's condition improves, Mayo Clinic reports". The Star Tribune. Archived from the original on 26 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-20. 
  9. ^ "American killed at Games was coach's father-in-law". cnn.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "Man who stabbed US tourists 'acted in despair over failures,' policy say". Xinhua News Agency. 2008-08-11. Archived from the original on 18 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  11. ^ a b c Jacobs, Andrew (2008-08-11). "A Stabbing Rooted in Loss and Despair". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  12. ^ a b Hutzler, Charles (2008-08-10). "China: Stabbing of ex-Olympian's father 'isolated'". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 2008-08-22. Retrieved 2008-08-16. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°56′22.0″N 116°23′22.69″E / 39.939444°N 116.3896361°E / 39.939444; 116.3896361