What we know about the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California

A mass shooting over the weekend at a dance studio in Monterey Park, a city east of Los Angeles, killed 10 and wounded 10 others.

After an hours-long manhunt, the suspect was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, officials said. The suspect was identified as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old man.

The attack late Saturday night took place in a predominantly Asian-American community on Lunar New Year’s Eve, after a folk festival in the area. Officials have not yet identified the victims.

A motive for the shooting is not known. The FBI and state authorities are also involved in the investigation.

The suspect targeted two separate dance studios

At around 10:22 p.m. local time on Saturday, a gunman opened fire at Star Dance Studio, a Chinese-owned ballroom dance studio on West Garvey Avenue, less than a block from a Lunar New Year celebration. The first day of the two-day festival had just ended. The event, which officials said drew more than 100,000 visitors, was canceled after the shooting.

About half an hour after the attack, the same gunman went to another ballroom studio, Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, in the nearby Alhambra, a few miles away.

The suspect went to the second location with “intent to kill more people,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said, but two people successfully disarmed the suspect by grabbing the gun from his hands.

The suspect, local authorities said, was using a magazine-fed assault pistol, which Luna said he was unsure of its legal status in the state.

Police saw a white pickup truck in Torrance, California, around 10:20 a.m. Sunday. The driver of the van stopped and the police surrounded him, then he heard a single shot. Authorities retreated and returned with reinforcements at around 12:52 p.m. to find Tran inside, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Of the 10 people pronounced dead at the scene, five were women and five were men, officials said. The wounded victims were taken to local hospitals in conditions ranging from stable to critical. The victims are over 50 years old.

Reactions from the Asian American community

According to the latest figures from the US Census Bureau, more than 65% of Monterey Park’s population is Asian.

The city of nearly 60,000 had just finished the first day of its Lunar New Year Festival when the shooting happened.

The Lunar New Year, which began on Sunday, is one of the most important festivals in Asian societies, including Vietnam, China, Korea and Mongolia. The holiday historically begins on the first full moon of the lunar year, but its start date and origins may vary by culture.

Thomas Wong, a Monterey Park councilman who represents the borough where the shooting took place, said his community was shocked, saddened and “nervous”.

“Instead of celebrating and bringing the family together to look forward to a hopeful and prosperous New Year, we’re starting it off with a senseless tragedy,” Wong told NPR.

leaders respond

Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo offered his condolences to the victims of the shooting and their families at a press conferenceand said: “In order to move forward, it is important that we are there for them, to provide them with the services and support they need, during a time of healing over the next few weeks, months, if not years.”

Monterey Park has established a memorial at City Hall and a center for survivors at a local senior center.

President Biden was briefed on the shooting.

“Jill and I are praying for the dead and injured in last night’s fatal mass shooting in Monterey Park. I am closely monitoring this situation as it develops and urge the community to follow the guidance of local officials and law enforcement in the hours to come. ‘ Biden said in a statement Sunday.

California Gov. 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 at the national level.

police stations in san francisconew york, Philadelphia and Houston said they would increase officer attendance at Lunar New Year events after the mass shooting.

The Monterey Park shooting comes amid an already brutal year for the United States

According to the Gun Violence Archive, the country has seen at least 33 mass shootings in 2023 alone.

The archive defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are injured or killed in addition to the shooter.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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