By Tim Reid and Jonathan Allen
MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (Reuters) -A gunman killed 10 folks at a ballroom dance corridor throughout a Chinese language Lunar New 12 months celebration late on Saturday close to Los Angeles earlier than fleeing the scene and later killing himself when approached by police on Sunday, authorities mentioned.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna mentioned throughout a Sunday afternoon press convention the motive for the capturing was not identified. He recognized the suspect as Huu Can Tran, 72, who wielded a pistol with a high-capacity journal.
“We need to know, we need to know the way one thing this terrible can occur,” Luna advised reporters.
Luna mentioned Tran turned a handgun on himself on Sunday morning as police approached a white van he was driving in Torrance, about 20 miles (34 km) from the location of the capturing on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park.
5 of the victims had been male and 5 had been feminine, Luna mentioned. Their identities haven’t been made public. One other ten folks had been shot, and 7 of them stay hospitalized, with no less than one particular person in crucial situation, authorities mentioned.
The sheriff’s division launched pictures of the suspect apparently taken from surveillance digital camera footage displaying him sporting spectacles, wearing a darkish jacket and a darkish beanie hat with white stripe.
Luna confirmed that Tran was concerned in one other incident at a dance venue within the neighboring metropolis of Alhambra about 20 minutes after the Saturday evening capturing in Monterey Park. On the second venue, witnesses mentioned Tran walked in holding a gun that patrons had been in a position to seize. Nobody was shot and Tran fled, Luna mentioned.
When police arrived on the Monterey Park ballroom, folks had been “pouring out of the situation screaming,” division captain Andrew Meyer advised reporters at a information briefing.
The capturing occurred after 10 p.m. PST (0600 GMT on Sunday) across the location of a two-day Chinese language Lunar New 12 months celebration the place many downtown streets are closed for festivities that draw hundreds of individuals from throughout Southern California. Police mentioned the celebrations deliberate for Sunday had been canceled.
A CLOSE-KNIT COMMUNITY
Residents stood gazing on the many blocks sealed off with police tape on Sunday in Monterey Park. Chester Chong, chairman of the Chinese language Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, described town of about 60,000 folks as a quiet, peaceable, stunning place the place all people is aware of one another and helps one another.
About 7 miles (11 km) from downtown Los Angeles, town has for many years been a vacation spot for immigrants from China. Round 65% of its residents are Asian, in keeping with U.S. Census knowledge, and town is thought for its many Chinese language eating places and groceries.
“Individuals had been calling me final evening, they had been scared this was a hate crime,” Chong mentioned on the scene.
The Star Ballroom Dance Studio opened in 1990, and its web site options many images of previous Lunar New 12 months celebrations displaying patrons smiling and dancing in celebration garments in its massive, brightly lit ballroom.
Most of its patrons are middle-aged or aged, although youngsters additionally attend youth dance courses, in keeping with a trainer on the studio who requested to not be named.
“These are regular working folks,” the trainer mentioned. “Some are retired and simply searching for an train or social interplay.”
A flyer posted on the web site marketed Saturday evening’s new 12 months celebration, operating from 7:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
The gunshots had been mistaken by some for brand new 12 months fireworks, in keeping with Tiffany Chiu, 30, who was celebrating at her mother and father’ house close to the ballroom.
“Quite a lot of older folks dwell right here, it is often actually quiet,” she mentioned. “This isn’t one thing you count on right here.”
Video taken by native information media confirmed injured folks, lots of them showing to be center aged, being loaded into ambulances on stretchers.
President Joe Biden condemned the killings in a written assertion and mentioned he had directed his Homeland Safety adviser to mobilize federal help to native authorities.
Mass shootings are recurrent in the USA, and the assault in Monterey Park was the deadliest since Could 2022, when a gunman killed 19 college students and two lecturers at a college in Uvalde, Texas. The deadliest capturing in California historical past was in 1984 when a gunman killed 21 folks at a McDonald’s (NYSE:) restaurant in San Ysidro, close to San Diego.