Police have identified the alleged shooter who opened fire at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring at least 10.
Huu Can Tran, 72, has been identified as the man, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office reported on Sunday afternoon.
Police reported that Tran was discovered dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after authorities focused on a white cargo van they thought might be linked to the shooting suspect.
Although the victims’ exact ages were unknown, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna stated they all seemed older than 50 and that no other suspects were still at large.
At a news conference later that night, he stated that the attack, which left 10 additional people injured, still lacked a clear motive. According to him, seven injured victims were still being treated there.
The shooter entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in adjacent Alhambra about 20 to 30 minutes after the initial assault. But before he fled, someone took the weapon from him, according to Luna.
According to the sheriff, the suspect reportedly carried a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was located in the van where Tran was found dead.
As a SWAT unit surrounded the van with the suspect allegedly inside, live aerial footage shows it trapped between two police armored cars.
“We believe there is a person inside of that vehicle. We don’t know their condition, but we’re going to handle that in the safest manner possible to try and identify that person,” Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said during a press conference before Tran was identified. “Could it be our suspect? Possibly.”
On Saturday January 21, 2023 at 10:22 PM the suspect male/adult/Asian pictured above was involved in a shooting. Investigators have identified him as a Homicide suspect and he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Contact LASD Homicide with any information at 323-890-5000. pic.twitter.com/2gPUBBybvv
— Robert Luna (@LACoSheriff) January 22, 2023
The van was encircled by many police officers, including SWAT personnel, many of whom had their guns drawn and were focused on the truck in addition to the armored police cars.
SWAT personnel briefly approached and entered the car. Tran’s body was discovered in the driver’s seat at that point.
The Torrance standoff occurred as the sheriff’s office released security photos of the murder suspect, describing him as 5-foot-10 and 150 pounds, wearing a beanie cap and glasses.
Sheriff of L.A. County Robert Luna stated that the suspect fled the scene and is still at large. No reason has been established.
Approximately 61,000 people make up the small, primarily Asian town of Monterey Park.
“We’re going to use every resource available to us because we need to get this person off the street,” Luna said
Although Luna declined to address a potential reason, she stated that “everything is on the table.”
“We don’t know that this was a hate crime as described by law,” Luna said. “Who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?“
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.
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 22, 2023
When Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park, went outside for his early-morning stroll and discovered that the noises he had heard the previous evening were gunshots, he was astounded.
“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,” he said. “And we don’t even get a lot of fireworks here. It’s weird to see this. It’s safe here. We’re right in the middle of the city, but it’s safe.”
According to officials, five men and five women were among the dead.
Spent time in Monterey Park today meeting with leaders and those impacted by this terrible tragedy. The strength of this community is incredible.
No other country in the world is terrorized by this constant stream of gun violence. We need real gun reform at a national level. pic.twitter.com/9XZf0PK7XQ
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) January 23, 2023
The shooting occurred on Saturday soon after 10 p.m., according to the authorities. The guy barged into a ballroom dancing establishment on West Garvey Avenue and started shooting.
Although a Lunar New Year festival was happening nearby, the shooting did not occur there, according to authorities.
According to officials at a news conference, people were fleeing the dance venue as deputies arrived.
“We’re serious about catching this suspect and bringing him to justice,” Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said.
It was not immediately apparent if the suspect knew the victims, yet the motivation is unknown. The injured people were sent quickly to local hospitals and ranged from stable to critical.
According to Luna, police in the nearby city of Alhambra were looking into a possible connection between the gunshot and an incident at a dance studio. A gun-wielding Asian guy entered the dance studio in the Alhambra incident, which occurred 17 minutes after the shooting in Monterey Park. Several bystanders took the gun from him before he fled the scene. A white cargo van that witnesses saw at the Alhambra incident has been identified by Luna as a “vehicle of interest” in the investigation.
The FBI has offered its assistance. Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, tweeted that President Joe Biden has received a briefing on the shooting.
The President has been briefed by the Homeland Security Advisor on the mass shooting in Monterey Park. He directed her to make sure that the FBI is providing full support to local authorities, and to update him regularly today as more details are known.
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) January 22, 2023
“Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. I’m monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and urge the community to follow guidance from local officials and law enforcement in the hours ahead,” Biden said.
Biden added in a statement made on Sunday afternoon, “We still don’t fully understand the motivation behind this horrific act, but we do know that many families are crying tonight or hoping that their loved one will recover from their injuries. Even though we are still looking for information regarding this incident, we know how severely it has affected the AAPI community. One of the largest AAPI communities in America is located in Monterey Park, and this past weekend, many of them joined loved ones and friends to celebrate the Lunar New Year.”
The president continued “to mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities as they continue to respond to and investigate this shooting” in his directive to his homeland security advisor.
“I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can,” Biden added.
The shooting has also been discussed with U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Department of Justice announced.
This past weekend, the city celebrated the start of the Chinese lunar calendar by hosting the Monterey Park Lunar New Year Festival. According to the city, the two-day street festival is well attended, with prior events drawing as many as 100,000 people per day. The activities on Saturday were supposed to end at nine o’clock.
On Sunday, the festival has been postponed. The Homicide Bureau of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department can be reached at (323) 890-5500 if you have any information. Call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS if you’d instead share information anonymously (8477).
According to The Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S., the incident represented not only the fifth mass killing in the country since the year’s beginning but also the deadliest since May 24, when 21 people were killed in a school in Uvalde, Texas.
The database also reveals that 2022, with 42 such attacks, was one of the country’s worst mass killings since the tracker’s inception in 2006. The database, mass murder is defined as killing four persons, excluding the offender.
Two months after five people were slain at a nightclub in Colorado Springs, there was further violence.
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