Olympics Day 2: Murder in Beijing

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Beijing Olympics
Day 2

Probably the most exciting day for all news crews in Beijing.

Only one day into the Olympics, and 2 family members of the US team volleyball coach have been violently attacked at a tourist attraction in downtown Beijing. A man and woman have been stabbed by a Chinese man while sightseeing at the Drum Tower. Their attacker then took his own life by jumping off the second storey of the ancient building. One of the victims died while the other was severely injured.

We headed out to the Drum Tower after news hit the wires. Conspiracy theories and speculations shrouded the whole incident as information flowed in about the victims' connection with the US team's volleyball coach.

By the time we arrived, the whole area was surrounded by journalists. Live satellite equipment were sprawled out in front of the tower, correspondents from Hong Kong and Japanese stations were going live, camera crew got out of their trucks one after another, reporters were already grilling the shopkeepers nearby as cameramen stick their cameras between the iron grills of the Drum Tower gate. The entire vicinity was crawling with journalists. It was a circus.

And also a war between those of us with a mic and a camera. Overhearing a witness in his conversation with another journalist, I stopped on my tracks. I looked at Manny, our correspondent. We've got something here. Immediately, he took his mic out and stepped in. Our cameraman followed suit.

The Spanish journalist who was talking to the guy got feisty. "Hey, I talked to him first! He's my interviewee!" Manny assured him, "I'm only taking a second. Just one question." Relax. His cameraman wasn't even there to film his interview. We were already rolling and by that time, the others could already smell the blood. Dozens of cameras pounced on us as the guy began to talk. Within a few seconds, I was pushed out of the circle by the paparazzi crowd. Enjoy your one minute of fame, my friend.

After hanging around for more than an hour, we decided it's about time to go home. As Manny finished his stand-up in front of the camera, a policeman appeared with a black bag in hand. "Ask him something. Go. Ask anything," Manny told me. With a smile on my face, I followed the guy.

"Excuse me. Do you know what happened over here?" I asked in Chinese, a big grin on my face. I could tell there was a little smirk on his face as he stared at me for a split second before blatantly slamming the car door on my face. Manny and Bob burst out in laughter. Okay. At least I tried.

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