Authorities said on Sunday that the suspected gunman who allegedly shot 20 people — killing 10 — at a dance studio near a Lunar New Year celebration in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park has been found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The shooting took place in a community of 61,000 that is 65% Asian. Ten people died at the scene — five men and five women — and 10 others were transported to local hospitals in conditions from stable to critical. As of press time, seven remain hospitalized.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Sunday night that the suspect, Huu Can Tran, 72, was found dead inside a white van in a strip mall parking lot in Torrance, Calif., about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, where the massacre occurred. Authorities said they found a handgun and other evidence inside the van. Sources told CNN that Tran had a regular presence at the dance studio, including meeting his ex-wife there.
The shooting occurred at 10:22 p.m. at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on the eve of the Lunar New Year, which was mostly frequented by Asians in San Gabriel Valley. Monterey Park is about 7 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The same gunman was later linked to an incident at 10:30 p.m. at another dance studio in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra, north of Monterey Park, in which a man fled and a weapon was seized by two community members. The sheriff’s department said that “several pieces of evidence” linked to both incidents were found inside the van used by the suspect, including a handgun. They added that no outstanding suspects are linked to the massacre and there is no danger to the area. LA Country Sheriff Luna said: “We still are not clear on the motive … The investigation continues … we want to know how something this awful can happen.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom posted on Twitter: “No one should have to fear going to a celebration with their community. Our thoughts are with the victims and all those impacted.” And President Biden ordered all U.S. flags at public buildings to be flown at half-staff to honor the victims, releasing a statement: “Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the Asian American and Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders (AA and NHPI) community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AA and NHPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.”
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