What we know so far : NPR
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A mass shooting over the weekend at a dance studio in Monterey Park, a city east of Los Angeles, killed 10 people and left 10 others injured.
After hours of manhunting, the suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, officials said. The suspect has been identified as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old man.
The attack late Saturday evening took place in a predominantly Asian American community on the eve of the Lunar New Year, following a popular festival in the area. Officials have not yet identified the victims.
A motive for the shooting is unknown. The FBI and state authorities are also involved in the investigation.
The suspect targeted two separate dance studios
At around 10:22 pm local time on Saturday, a gunman opened fire inside Star Dance Studio, a Chinese-owned ballroom dance studio on West Garvey Avenue, less than a block from where a Lunar festival was held New Year. The first day of the two-day festival had just ended. The event, which officials said drew more than 100,000 participants, was canceled after the shooting.
About half an hour after the attack, the same gunman entered another ballroom studio, Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, in nearby Alhambra, a few miles away.
The suspect went to the second place with the “intent to kill more people,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, but two people successfully disarmed the suspect by removing the weapon from his hand.
The suspect was using what local authorities said was a magazine-fed assault-style handgun, which Luna said he was unsure of its legal status in the state.
On Sunday around 10:20 am, police saw a white cargo van in Torrance, California. The van driver pulled over and police turned around, then heard a single gunshot. The authorities withdrew and returned at around 12:52 pm with backup, to find Tran inside, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Of the 10 people declared dead on the spot, five were women and five were men, the officials said. The injured victims were rushed to local hospitals, in conditions ranging from stable to critical. The victims are over 50 years old.
Reactions of the Asian-American community
Monterey Park’s population is more than 65% Asian, according to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau.
The city of almost 60,000 residents had just wrapped its first day Lunar New Year Festival when the shooting happened.
The Lunar New Year, which began on Sunday, is one of the most important festivals across Asian societies, including in Vietnam, China, Korea and Mongolia. The holiday historically begins on the first full moon of the lunar year, but its start date and origin can vary between cultures.
Monterey Park council member Thomas Wong, who represents the district where the shooting took place, said his community was shocked, saddened and “on edge”.
“Instead of celebrating and bringing the family together to look forward to a hopeful and prosperous new year, we’re starting it with a senseless tragedy,” Wong told NPR.
Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo expressed his condolences to the shooting victims and their families during a press conferenceand he said, “They have moved forward, it is important that we are there for them, to provide services and support that they need, in what will be a time of healing in the weeks, months, if not years to come.”
Monterey Park has established a memorial at city hall and a survivor center at a local senior center.
President Biden was briefed on the shooting.
“Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. I am monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and encourage the community to follow guidance from -local officials and law enforcement in the coming hours,” Biden said in a statement on Sunday.
California Governor Gavin Newsom was in Monterey Park after the shooting.
“The strength of this community is incredible,” he said. “No other country in the world is terrorized by this constant stream of gun violence. We need real gun reform on a national level.
The shooting in Monterey Park comes amid an already violent year for the United States
The country saw at least 33 mass shootings in 2023 alone, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.
The archive defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are injured or killed, in addition to the shooter.