Evening summary: Monterey Park shooter dead, motive under investigation
The shooter who killed 10 people at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, California on Saturday night was a 72-year-old Asian man whose motive for the attack is still under investigation, authorities said on Sunday evening.
The shooter himself is now dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, after being pulled over by law enforcement officers in the nearby town of Torrance, California, on Sunday morning, Los Angeles county sheriff Robert Luna said.
Some key updates:
The names of the 10 victims killed in Monterey Park have not yet been released, but Luna said many of them were in their 50s, 60s, or older. It’s not yet clear when the names of the dead will be announced, or whether their next of kin have been notified: Luna said the coroner was still working to identify the victims.
Luna and local politicians hailed the heroism of two community members at a second dance venue in Alhambra, California, who they said managed to disarm the gunman when he appeared there on Saturday night after the Monterey Park shooting, likely saving many lives.
The guns used by the shooter are still under investigation. At least one, a semi-automatic assault pistol with a high-capacity magazine, initially appeared to be illegal in California. How the shooter obtained the weapons, and whether they were obtained legally or illegally, is still unclear.
Monterey Park was the 33rd mass shooting in the United States in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as any violent incident in which at least four people are shot and wounded, whether or not they are killed.
Asked about the country’s problem with gun violence, Luna noted that California has, in the American context, relatively strict gun control laws. “The status quo’s not working,” he said. “We need to re-examine what we’re doing and what may work better.”
At least one gun used by Monterey Park shooter may be illegal in California
One of the shooter’s weapons, recovered after community members at a second dance studio in a nearby town managed to disarm him, was described by sheriff Robert Luna as a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol with a high capacity magazine attached.
While investigation into the shooter’s weapons is still ongoing, “I believe the weapon recovered at the Alhambra location is not legal in the state of California,” Luna said.
California, the first state in the nation to attempt to ban military-style “assault weapons,” prohibits certain kinds of semi-automatic handguns that accept or have larger ammunition magazines, as well as certain kinds of semi-automatic rifles.
Californa’s assault weapon ban was passed in 1989, after an attack on a school in Stockton, where five children died, most of them the children of Cambodian refugees.
With shooter reported dead, officials urge community members to feel safe again
“Feel safe,” Judy Chu, the US congresswoman who represents Monterey Park, urged community members at an evening press conference . “You are no longer in danger because this shooter is gone.”
“He is no longer a threat,” sheriff Robert Luna said.
US flag will be flown at half mast this week to honor Monterey Park victims
Joe Biden has announced that, as a “mark of respect for the victims” in Monterey Park, the US flag will be flown at half mast at the White House and all public buildings and grounds until sunset on 26 January.
Vicimts are still being identified, but many are in 50s, 60s, or older
The coroner’s office is “still in the process of identifying” the victims who were killed, sheriff Robert Luna said. He promised more information “as the days go on.”
The ages of the victims appear to be in their 50s, 60s and “maybe even some beyond there,” Luna said.
Multiple 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. “There’s definitely going to be people in their 70s, 80s, people in their 90s,” instructor David DuVal told the Los Angeles Times.
Monterey Park mayor: ‘This is just the beginning’
“We are able to say that justice has been done…but we also know this is just the beginning,” Monterey Park mayor Henry Lo said at a evening press conference confirming the suspected shooter was found dead on Sunday morning.
“Our priority is to make sure those victims, their family members, are given the assistance they need to heal and get over their trauma,” Lo said, referencing what he expects will be “a long process of healing as a community.”
Two weapons 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 high capacity magazine attached, Sheriff Robert Luna said.
Another firearm, found in the white van where the suspect was discovered this morning, was a handgun, he said.
Mass shooting suspect is dead, but ‘we still are not clear on the motive’
While the suspected shooter, a 72-year-old man, died this morning, law enforcement officials are still investigating the motive for the shooting.
Sheriff Robert Luna and local politicians praised the heroism of two community members who stopped the shooter and took away his gun when he appeared at second dance studio, in Alhambra, not long after opening fire at a first dance studio in Monterey Park.
“This could have been much worse,” Luna said.
“Feel safe,” Judy Chu, the US congresswoman who represents Monterey Park, urged community members. “You are no longer in danger because this shooter is gone.”
“What was the motive for this shooting?” Chu asked. “Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he get these guns? Was it through legal means or not? These questions will have to be answered in the future.”
Suspect in Monterey Park shooting is dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound
The suspect in a deadly mass shooting at a southern California dance studio on Saturday night died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday, Los Angeles county sheriff Robert Luna said.
The suspect, who was driving a white van, was stopped by law enforcement in Torrance, California, around 10.30 am, on Sunday morning. Law enforcement officials heard one gunshot from within the van, Luna said at a press conference on Sunday evening.
Multiple 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 suspect has been identified as Huu Can Tran, 72. There are no outstanding suspects, Luna said.
The sheriff said that evidence in the van was found related to the shooting.
Seven people are still hospitalized with wounds from the shooting, Luna said.
Despite shooting, some lunar new year celebrations continue in California
Across southern California, the OC Register reported, some lunar new year celebrations continued on Sunday, even as law enforcement authorities had not yet confirmed whether they had located the gunman who killed 10 people on Saturday night in a shooting near a downtown Monterey Park lunar new year festival.
Biden statement: ‘We know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community’
As local residents wait for a late afternoon update on whether the Monterey Park shooter is still at large, Joe Biden has released a statement offering condolences to all those affected by the attack, particularly the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.
Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don’t know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds.
Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.
Watch live updates from US authorities on the deadly Monterey Park mass shooting
A press conference is expected shortly with updates on the Saturday night shooting that left ten people dead in southern California.
ATF says they are tracing ownership of gun believed to have been used in Monterey Park
The Los Angeles branch of the federal bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives tweeted this afternoon that it conducted an “urgent trace” on a firearm believed to be used in a Saturday night shooting that killed ten people in a majority Asian American community in Southern California.
Applying some urgency to the routine task of tracing the ownership of a gun used in a crime may be necessary for the ATF, a troubled federal agency mired for decades in the bitter battle over gun rights.
The federal agency that tracks firearms used in crimes is considered an enemy by many American gun rights advocates, and, as a result, it has been strategically hobbled and undermined for decades. The ATF still uses archaic systems, including piles of paper records, for tracking information about gun sales by licensed gun dealers.
This summer, with gun sales and shootings on the rise in recent years, and staffing down, it took the ATF an average of two weeks to conduct a routine trace for sale data on a gun that had been used in a crime, NBC News reported.
What we know so far about the Monterey Park shooting
It’s still not clear if the suspect in a southern California mass shooting that left 10 people dead is still at large, or if law enforcement officials have located the man, and he is dead.
Officials have promised a press conference with additional updates at 4.30pm local time. Here’s what we know, and what we still don’t know, about once of the deadliest US mass shootings in recent months.
The shooting: 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 are connected. They described the suspect as an Asian man in his 30s to 50s.
The context: Monterey Park and Alhambra are both majority-Asian American towns outside of 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 motive: Officials said they were still investigating the motive behind the Saturday night 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.
The weapon: Los Angeles county sheriff Robert Luna said at least one of the guns used was “not a high-powered assault rifle”. Both the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times reported, citing unnamed law enforcement sources briefed on the incident, that a military-style rifle was used in the Monterey Park shooting. It’s not clear how many guns might have been used across what were potentially two separate incidents targeting two different dance halls.
The suspect: Law enforcement officials have released photos of a shooting suspect, an Asian American man, who was initially described as being in his 30s to 50s. Officials said they know his name, but are not releasing it. He was initially described as armed, dangerous, and at large.
The standoff in Torrance: Around midday on Sunday, law enforcement vehicles surrounded a white van in Torrance, California, which sheriff Robert Luna described as a “barricaded suspect situation” that they believed was related to the Monterey Park shooting. “Could it be our suspect? Possibly,” Luna said. “We’re looking at any and every possibility.” After an hours-long standoff, law enforcement officers finally entered the van, and local news reporters said there appeared to be a deceased body inside the opened vehicle. Multiple news outlets later reported that the driver of the vehicle had died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Law enforcement has yet to confirm the identity of the van driver, or if the driver was in fact the suspect in Saturday’s shooting.
The Associated Press contributed reporting
The press conference that everyone is expecting will now take place in Monterey Park at 4.30pm local time (7.30pm ET), officials in Torrance just said.
So clearly no official confirmation on anything relating to the identity or status of the gunman in the mass shooting.
Signs point to Torrance law enforcement’s forced entry into a white van there and the shooting in Monterey Park being connected, but there will be another wait for public details from the authorities.
There has been no further public mention from officials about a suspect still being at large. Again, we await confirmation of all latest details after the standoff in Torrance, on the outskirts of Los Angeles.
Police in Torrance, on the south-west outskirts of Los Angeles, and the LA county sheriff’s department will brief the media and public soon, it’s hoped. Anonymous law enforcement sources and much speculation swirl about the suspect in the mass shooting in Monterey Park east of LA on Saturday night.
Gathered media wait, impatiently, as does the community where the shooting happened, about seven miles east of downtown LA.
The shooting happened in the middle of what had been unfolding as a joyous weekend of celebration of the lunar new year, marking the year of the rabbit in the Chinese lunar calendar. The latest American massacre threw a pall over festivities, which were canceled in Monterey Park on Sunday.
LA Times: driver of white van dead of self-inflicted gunshot wound
Earlier today, multiple law enforcement vehicles, including Swat vehicles, surrounded a white van in Torrance, California, in what the Los Angeles sheriff described as a “barricaded suspect situation”. After an hours-long standoff, law enforcement officers finally entered the van, and local news reporters said there appeared to be a deceased body inside the opened vehicle.
The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that “multiple law enforcement sources” said that “the driver had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound”.
While officials said they believe the white van is linked to the Monterey Park shooting, it’s still not clear if the driver of the van is, in fact, the shooting suspect police are searching for.
“Could it be our suspect? Possibly,” Sheriff Robert Luna said earlier this afternoon. “We’re looking at any and every possibility.”
Reporters at the scene also noted bullet holes in the driver’s side window of the van before the Swat team entered the vehicle. It’s not yet clear if law enforcement officers fired at the driver, or if the driver attempted to shoot at them.
“At least two bullet holes had been visible in the driver’s-side window in the moments prior to [the SWAT team’s] approach, and the driver appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Another local reporter on the scene in Torrance, Kristy Hutchings, said a law enforcement official told her that “the suspect in the white van shot and killed himself after being pulled over for a traffic stop this morning”.
Monterey Park shooting comes less than a year after attack on Taiwanese church
Less than a year ago, a 68-year-old man opened fire at a gathering of elderly parishoners organized by a Taiwanese American church in southern California, leaving five people injured and a 52-year-old doctor dead.
Authorities said more people might have been killed if not for the heroism of John Cheng, 52, who tackled the gunman, and allowed others to restrain him. Cheng, who was killed in the 15 May attack, had brought his elderly mother to the gathering.
Authorities said the shooting was “politically motivated” and that the suspect, who had Taiwanese roots, was inspired by anti-Taiwanese hate and upset about tensions between China and Taiwan.
The 68-year-old gunman had chained and glued the church doors closed, and also brought bomb materials, officials said at the time.
The alleged shooter faces hate crime as well as murder and attempted murder charges in this case.
The shooter pleaded not guilty and faces the death penalty if convicted of all charges, the Los Angeles Times reported last summer.
‘We…never heard about a shooting in Monterey Park before.’
It’s not yet clear whether a body found in a white van in Torrance, California, is the suspect in a deadly shooting in Monterey Park, California.
Local community residents are still waiting for any official word on the motive for a shooting that left ten people dead, and that happened not far from a popular lunar new year celebration in a majority-Asian American town outside of Los Angeles.
The suspect is an Asian man in his 30s to 50s, and appeared to have been involved in a second incident in a nearby Alhambra, law enforcement officials said.
A local Monterey Park man, Bing Hao, 25, was walking with some friends near the crime scene on Sunday afternoon and stopped to talk briefly, saying he was at the new year festival on Saturday morning.
“I heard a rumor that this was about an employee fired from the ballroom and is getting his revenge,” he told the Guardian. “I don’t know if that is true or not, but it was during lunar new year which is a really important day for Asian people, and people died, and now the next event got cancelled.”
“We live near here and never heard about a shooting in Monterey Park [before]. I felt shock, Asian people usually don’t carry guns. It’s new years, maybe save the hate for a different time – I’m not gonna come out at night, I’m going to stay home,” he added.
ABC7 News: ‘There is a body in the driver’s seat of the van’
Minutes after SWAT officers were observed entering a van in Torrance, California, that a law enforcement officer described as a “barricaded suspect situation” related to the Monterey Park shooting, ABC7 News reported that reporters have seen a body in the driver’s seat of the van.
It has not been confirmed whether the person in the white van is the suspect in the Monterey Park shooting. The person in the van appears to dead.
Los Angeles County sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference a few minutes ago said that law enforcement thought the person inside the van might be the shooting suspect, but that they had not yet confirmed it.
Swat team entering van in Torrance
There’s a major law enforcement presence surrounding a van in Torrance, California, a city about a 40-minute drive from Monterey Park, where a shooter killed 10 people last night at a ballroom dance studio.
Swat team members are currently opening the door of the van, ABC7 News is reporting.
Another local reporter on the scene previously confirmed there was a bullet hole on the driver’s side window of the van. Sheriff Robert Luna said a few minutes ago that law enforcement had not yet confirmed if the shooting suspect is inside the van.
Updates on the Monterey Park shooting: photo of suspect but no motive or name
There are still more questions than answers about the shooting in Monterey Park last night that left ten people dead, and reporters pressed sheriff Robert Luna during a press confernce just after noon local time about the lack of additional new information.
Law enforcement officials have the name of the shooter but are “withholding the name,” in order to help them apprehend the suspect more rapidly, Luna said. They have released an image of the shooter so the public can provide any information about his whereabouts, Luna said.
Law enforcement does not yet know the motive for the shooting, Luna confirmed, and it’s not yet clear if any additional suspects were involved. “We’re looking at every angle, whether it’s domestic violence, the question was asked earlier about a hate crime,” Luna said.
“We believe” that the shooter in Monterey Park was also involved in a second incident in the area, Luna said, though he said he could not confirm the connection definitively. The images of the suspect the department has released came from the second location, he said.
On the weapon used in the shooting: “It’s not a high-powered assault rifle, but I don’t want to get into the specifics on the weapon,” Luna said. Both the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times have reported, citing anonymous law enforcement sources briefed on the incident, that the shooter did use a military-style rifle. It’s not clear if the suspect might have used multiple weapons.
‘The impact of trauma…goes on for a very long time’
The motive for the deadly shooting in Monterey Park remains unclear, Los Angeles county district attorney George Gascón said in a press conference more than 12 hours after the shooting
Regardless of the motive for teh shooting, “When one of us is attacked, we’re all here together,” Gascón said.
Mental health and other resources for survivors of the shooting would be available in the coming days and weeks, he said.
“The impact of trauma from this event goes on from a very long time,” Gascón said.
News conference: not clear if shooting suspect is in standoff in Torrance, sheriff said.
Abené Clayton reporting from Monterey Park:
More than 12 hours after a mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park left ten people dead, law enforcement said they are not yet naming the suspect, and that it’s not yet clear whether he has been apprehended in Torrance, where law enforcement vehicles have surrounded a white cargo van for the past hour.
The standoff in Torrance is a “barricaded suspect situation,” Los Angeles County sheriff Robert Luna. “We believe that there is a person inside the vehicle. We don’t know their condition, but we’re going to handle that in the safest manner that we possibly can” he said.
“Could it be our suspect? Possibly,” he said. “We’re looking at any and every possibility.”
Reports from van standoff in Torrance: shots previously fired, bomb squad on scene
A bomb squad has appeared on the scene in Torrance where law enforcement are surrounding a white cargo van that may be linked to the Monterey Park shooting, ABC7 News reported.
Shots were fired at that scene, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing law enforcement officials, though it’s not clear whether shots were fired by law enforcement or by a suspect.
Law enforcement officials on scene have appeared to relax their vigilance and are operating closer to the white van, local news anchors observed, suggesting they may believe that any suspect inside the vehicle has been incapacitated.
So far, there has been very little official confirmaton of what’s happening on the ground Torrance, including whether the shooting suspect is in fact inside the van.
Less than an hour ago, the Los Angeles county sheriff released photos of the shooting suspect, describing him as Asian man, 5’10”, and that he should be considered armed and dangerous.
On the ground in Torrance, many streets are closed off, and local residents are parking at nearby shopping malls and are standing nearby to watch the scene, even as police urge them to back away, ABC7 News reporter Sophie Flay reported.
Grief and cancelled celebration in Monterey Park
As community members wait for an update on whether law enforcement officers have located the suspect in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, the city has cancelled its popular downtown lunar new year festivities.
Locals are telling journalists on the scene they feel shaken and anxious as the shooting has disrupted daily life in a very quiet town.
Local news footage shows law enforcement surrounding white van
Live news footage from ABC7 News in California continues to show law enforcement surrounding a white cargo van that may be linked to the Monterey Park shooting. It’s not clear if the shooting suspect is in the van. An ABC7 News anchor noted that law enforcement officials at this scene, who had appeared in defensive postures a few minutes ago, are now walking around the van in a way that suggests they do not believe a person inside the van presents an active threat. Two SWAT vehicles are currently boxing in the white van.
A news conference with additional details on the case is expected at noon outside Monterey Park’s city hall. The press conference has been pushed back several times as the situation in Torrance is unfolding.
Other local news reporters have details on the scene in Torrance:
The Los Angeles Times reported that “shots were fired” on the scene at Torrance, according to law enforcement sources. “It was who was in the car or whether there were any injuries,” the Times reported.
A bomb squad appeared on the scene in Torrance shortly after noon local time, possibly to check the white van for explosives, ABC7 News reported.
Law enforcement releases images of Monterey Park shooting suspect
As local news helicopters monitor law enforcement vehicles surrounding a white van in Torrance, California, the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department has released photographs of a suspect in the Monterey Park shooting, describing him as an Asian male, and as armed and dangerous.
News helicopters show law enforcement surrounding a white van in Torrance
ABC7 News had images of law enforcement vehicles boxing in a white van in Torrance, California, and reports that “authorities believe it is possible” the Monterey Park suspect is inside.
In a news conference this morning, sheriff Robert Luna said that authorities were searching for a white cargo van, and that an assailant in a potentially related incident had escaped in a white van.
It’s January 22. There have already been 33 mass shootings in the US this year.
The shooting at a ballroom dance studio in California last night, which left at least ten people dead, is one of the deadliest mass shootings in a public place in the US since mid-November, when a shooter targeted an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs, leaving five people dead, and another shooter opened fire on coworkers at his workplace, a Walmart in Virginia, leaving six people dead.
But there are multiple-casualty shootings nearly every day in the US. The Gun Violence Archive, which tracks incidents in real-time using media reports, defines a mass shooting as any incident in which at least four people are shot, not including the shooter. It includes incidents where multiple people are shot and injured, whether or not they are killed.
By this definition, now a widely-used one in the US, there have been 33 mass shootings so far this year. Twenty-one of those incidents have been left at least one person dead.
Two of the deadliest shootings so far this year have not taken place in public, but have targeted people within their homes.
Six people, including a young woman and her 10-month-old baby, were shot to death in a home in central California on 16 January.
In Enoch City, Utah, on 4 January, police say a man shot and killed his wife, his mother-in-law, and his five children, and then killed himself, leaving eight members of the same family dead.
Many questions, but no answers yet, on the motivation for the shooting
The morning after a mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, California, left ten people dead, the shooter is still at large, and authorities said they are still investigating possible motivations for the shooting, including whether it was a hate crime targeting Asian Americans.
One community member told ABC News that he had heard information that suggested that the shooting might have been an incident of domestic violence, targeting the wife or partner of the shooter.
That has not yet been confirmed. But, as Shannon Watts, a leading gun violence prevention activist, noted, many mass shootings in the US involve domestic violence.
A mass shooting during celebrations for the lunar new year
The deadly shooting in a majority Asian-American town outside Los Angeles comes during a celebration of family and tradition to mark the beginning of the year of the rabbit:
For billions of people across Asia and in Asian diaspora communities around the world, this weekend marks the beginning of the lunar new year celebrations, a two-week holiday marking the end of the Zodiac year of the Tiger, and ushering in the Year of the Rabbit – or Cat, if you are in Vietnam. For the first few days commercial activity slows or stops, as people gather with their families. For many migrant workers in China, it is often the only time of the year they can return to home towns. The holiday is steeped in tradition, with a focus on family, food, reflection and looking forward.
The mass shooting Saturday night, which took place not far from Monterey Park’s popular lunar new year celebration, has led to cancellation of the second day of festivities there, and may cast a pall on other lunar new year celebrations across the country.
This is Lois Beckett in Los Angeles, picking up our coverage of the deadly mass shooting last night in Monterey Park, California, which left at least ten people dead and ten others injured.
Here’s what we know so far:
What happened: At around 10.20pm on Saturday night, a gunman opened fire in a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, authorities said, leaving ten people dead.
Perpetrator not yet arrested: The shooter, who was identified in preliminary reports as an Asian male between 30 and 50 years old, is still at large, sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference Sunday morning.
The weapon: A law enforcement source told the Los Angeles Times that the gunman used “a high-powered” military-style rifle “at close range.”
Who was killed: Five men and five women died at the scene, authorities said. The names of the victims have not yet been released.
Who was injured: At least ten people are wounded, and their conditions range from stable to critical, authorities said.
Context: Monterey Park is a majority Asian American city about 7 miles from downtown Los Angeles. About 65% of residents are Asian American, according to census data. The shooting happened close to Monterey Park’s popular lunar new year festival which attracts thousands of celebrants. The city has cancelled the second day of the weekend festivities in the wake of the shooting.
Is this a hate crime: “Everything is on the table … We don’t know if this is a hate crime by law,” the sheriff said at Sunday morning’s press conference.
What’s next: Authorities promised a more detailed description of the suspect “in a few hours”.
Across the nation: Lunar new year celebrations are planned in cities across the US and, indeed, across the world today to mark the start of the Chinese year of the rabbit. There will be huge events in Los Angeles, New York and other places today.
Questions remain: At the press conference, the sheriff described reports of a potential related incident in Alhambra, another majority Asian American city near Monterey Park, which took place 17min after the Monterey Park shooting, “where a male Asian suspect walked into a dance hall … with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him” and then “hat individual took off”, Luna said. He said it’s not clear if the incidents are related.
Bigger context: Between March 2020 and March 2022, more than 11,400 hate incidents against Asian Americans were reported across the United States, according to a report by Stop AAPI Hate.
President Joe Biden has been briefed on the Monterey Park mass shooting, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tweeted, adding that Biden has directed the FBI to provide “full support” to local authorities.
Meanwhile, vice-president Kamala Harris has issued her condolences alongside her husband Doug Harris to the victims and their families.
“Overnight, yet another community was torn apart by a senseless act of gun violence. To the Monterey Park families impacted: Doug and I mourn with you—and pray for you,” she said.
The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently working with law enforcement partners in the shooting, the agency said on Sunday.
“Everything is on the table … We don’t know if this is a hate crime by law,” said Robert Luna on a possible motive of the perpetrator.
Luna said that the suspect “remains outstanding”, adding, “We are here to tell you that we are utilizing every resource to apprehend this suspect, in what we believe to be the county’s most heinous cases. Our local state and federal law enforcement agencies are working together to better serve the residents here of Los Angeles county and to apprehend this attacker.”
Five females and five males victims are dead
Five females and five male victims are dead, said Los Angeles county sheriff Robert Luna, adding that their specific ages have not yet been identified.
“We believe that there may be an incident that may be related … where a male Asian suspect walked into a dance hall … with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him. That individual took off … Some witnesses in that area are describing a white cargo van, we don’t know if … it’s connected,” Robert Luna said, referring to a second possible scene in neighboring Alhambra which may have taken place approximately 17min after the Monterey Park shooting occurred.
Authorities “should be” releasing a better description of the suspect in the “next few hours”, said Robert Luna, Los Angeles county sheriff.
Luna added that investigators believe that the suspect is between 30 and 50 years old.
“It is important that we be there for them and to provide the support they need in a time of healing,” Henry Lo, mayor of Monterey Park, said of the victims and their families at Sunday morning’s press conference.
In addition to 10 fatalities, 10 other victims were injured in the shooting and their current conditions vary from “stable” to “critical,” police said.
Authorities: Preliminary description of the suspect is an Asian male
The suspect in the shooting has been described preliminarily by authorities as a “male Asian,” according to Los Angeles County sheriff Robert Luna.
The shooting at the dance studio took place in Monterey Park, a predominantly Asian community located approximately seven miles from downtown Los Angeles.
According to 2020 data, 65.6% of Monterey Park’s population is Asian, 28.5% is Hispanic or Latino and 14% is white.
A dance studio in neighboring Alhambra announced that it will be closed for today.
In an Instagram post, Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio Inc wrote, “In observance of the tragedy at Star Dance last night, Lai Lai will be closed today. Tea and night dances are suspended until further notice. Lai Lai will reopen Monday for lessons only. As an extra precaution, all students and teachers are subject to search prior to entering the studio. Our prayers go out to all the victims families.”
It remains unclear whether there is a connection between Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio Inc and Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, where the shooting occurred.
California governor Gavin Newsom has condemned Saturday night’s shooting and said that authorities are closely monitoring the situation.
“Monterey Park should have had a night of joyful celebration of the Lunar New Year. Instead, they were the victims of a horrific and heartless act of gun violence. Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night. We are monitoring the situation closely,” he said on Twitter.
There was a second incident in the night in Alhambra, which is very close to Monterey Park, east of Los Angeles, where a mass shooting last night killed 10, with the suspect on the loose.
Local reports bring news that the authorities believe both incidents are related and the second incident also took place at a ballroom, like the shooting at the Star ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park.
Investigators were at both scenes overnight and a local report says the scene in Alhambra was cleared very early this morning and no injuries were reported at that location.
We are waiting for a police press conference, due at 11am US eastern time today, where hopefully there will be more detail released about all of this frightening news.
Local ABC Seven reports that: Monterey Park is a small community of approximately 61,000 people, and it’s a predominantly Asian American community. The city was hosting the Monterey Park Lunar New Year Festival this weekend, marking the beginning of the Chinese lunar calendar. The annual two-day street festival is widely attended, with previous celebrations drawing as many as 100,000 daily visitors, according to the city. Saturday’s events were scheduled to finish at 9 . The festival has been canceled for Sunday.
Democrats call for greater gun safety laws
US Senate majority whip Dick Durbin has just expressed fears for the security of Asian Americans across the US in the wake of the shooting in California, as we await any news on whether the Asian American community there was deliberately targeted on the basis of race.
The Illinois Democrat also called for great gun safety laws in the US. There was new federal legislation tightening gun laws passed last year with bipartisan support, the first for decades. And many more laws have been passed at local and state level in the last five or 10 years, but Republicans in Congress still generally reject strong reforms such as a nationwide ban on military-style assault rifles being sold to the general public.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union politics show this morning, he said of the lunar new year parties and events that were taking place in Monterey Park yesterday: “The same celebrations are taking place her in Chicago and across the US. I’m very concerned for the Asian American population. I am hoping this is not a hate crime.”
Durbin condemned yet another mass shooting, “which sadly is uniquely American experience. It happens over and over and over again.”
He said there was “a lot” more lawmakers could do to “make our nation safer for everyone” and he slammed the US Supreme Court, now dominated by a super-majority of six conservatives, for allowing laxer gun laws and operating with a mentality towards gun safety that he was is “beyond the realm of reality.”
He lamented the public’s ease of acquiring high capacity magazines and weapons “that belong in the military.”
Police hunt for gunman
Local law enforcement officers in Monterey Park, California, are hunting for the suspect in the shooting in a dance studio there on Saturday night and they are assisted in the hunt by officers from the Los Angeles county sheriff’s department and federal agents from the FBI.
We are expecting a press conference by the police at 11am US eastern time today where, hopefully, they will offer more details not just about what happened but where the manhunt and the investigation are up to.
The frantic hunt for the perpetrator continues after he fled in the night. Police have said he is a man but have not given out any other details, if they have them.
US president Joe Biden has been briefed by the US homeland security department, Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House spokeswoman, said on Twitter.
Monterey Park is a majority Asian American city about seven miles from downtown Los Angeles.
“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” said Los Angeles City controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office.
Mass shooting kills 10 in California
Good morning, US live blog readers, we’re following the news breaking out of California overnight after a shooter opened fire in a dance studio near Los Angeles late on Saturday and, at latest reports, killed 10 people. Police say the gunman is on the loose. We’ll bring you developments as they happen. Here’s where things stand:
A gunman killed 10 people and wounded 10 others at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday night.
The tragedy took place at Monterey Park, about seven miles east of downtown LA, a small city with a large Asian American population.
Police say the shooter was a man and he is still at large, though they have given no further description or any information about a possible motive.
Captain Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles sheriff’s department said early on Sunday that the wounded were taken to hospitals and their conditions range from stable to critical. Meyer said 10 people died at the scene.
Meyer said people were “pouring out of the location screaming” late Saturday when officers arrived on the scene. He said officers then went into the dance ballroom as firefighters treated the wounded.
Lunar New Year celebrations are planned in cities across the US and, indeed, across the world today to mark the start of the Chinese year of the rabbit. There will be huge events in Los Angeles, New York and other places today.
Law enforcement in Monterey Park say it’s too early to determine whether the shooting there was a hate crime against Asian Americans or whether the gunman knew any of his victims or had any connection to the dance venue where he struck.