At least 10 people have been killed in a shooting at a dance hall on Saturday night in a city close to Los Angeles, on the eve of the lunar new year.
Here’s what we know, and what we still don’t know, about the deadliest US mass shooting in recent months.
A gunman opened fire around 10.20pm on Saturday night at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, California. Ten people – five men and five women – died at the scene, and at least 10 more were taken to nearby hospitals with injuries, officials said.
Twenty to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered another dance venue in nearby Alhambra, California, authorities said. People at the second ballroom wrestled the gun away from him, and the suspect fled. Authorities said they believed the two incidents were connected.
Law enforcement officials have identified the suspect as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man. Tran was found dead on Sunday morning in a white van that police had identified as a suspicious vehicle. They said he had died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Earlier in the day, they had released photos of a man initially described as being in his 30s to 50s, and described him as armed, dangerous, and at large.
Monterey Park and Alhambra are majority-Asian American towns outside Los Angeles. In 2017, Monterey Park was named as “one of the best places to live in America”. The city was the first on mainland US to have a majority of residents with Asian ancestry, as migrants from Taiwan, China, Japan and Vietnam settled in the community.
The coroner’s office is “still in the process of identifying” the victims who were killed, the Los Angeles county sheriff, Robert Luna, said on Sunday. The ages of the victims appear to be in their 50s, 60s and “maybe even some beyond there”, Luna said.
Dance instructors who taught classes at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park told news outlets that the ballroom studio served a predominantly older, Asian American clientele.
Officials said they were still investigating the motive behind the shooting, including whether it was a hate crime or a deadly incident of domestic violence. The shooting happened not far from a popular lunar new year celebration in downtown Monterey Park. Further celebrations were cancelled there on Sunday, and lunar new year celebrations elsewhere in the US continued with heightened security.
Two weapons have been identified so far, including a handgun with a high capacity magazine.
The weapon recovered from the Alhambra location where the shooter was disarmed was described as magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol with a high-capacity magazine attached, Luna said. He said it initially appeared that weapon would be illegal under California law.
Another firearm, found in the white van where the suspect was discovered this morning, was a handgun, he said.
Manhunt that led to the suspect
Police say Tran was found dead in a white van following an hours-long manhunt.
The van was stopped by law enforcement in Torrance, California, around 10.30am, on Sunday morning. Law enforcement officials heard one gunshot from within the van, Luna said.
Swat vehicles and other law enforcement cars surrounded the van for several hours on Sunday afternoon before officers entered the van, an operation that local TV news cameras broadcast live.
The Associated Press contributed reporting