Ten people were tragically killed in a mass shooting and another ten have been injured at a Monterey Park Lunar New Year celebration just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, police said. The suspect, described as an Asian male between 30 to 50 years old, was still at large Sunday morning and his motive is unknown, according to the New York Times.
The shooting reportedly killed five men and five women who were celebrating at a ballroom dance hall in suburban Monterey Park, about nine miles south of downtown Los Angeles on the eve of the Lunar New Year, a major holiday in many Asian communities. The city in Los Angeles County has about a 65% Asian population, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Police released a photo of the suspect on Twitter Sunday morning.
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.— Robert Luna (@LACoSheriff) January 22, 2023
Contact LASD Homicide with any information at 323-890-5000. pic.twitter.com/2gPUBBybvv
“We need to get this person off the street as soon as possible,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said in a press conference Sunday morning.
Authorities also said that a second incident in the neighboring city of Alhambra could be connected to this shooting. Luna said in the press conference that an Asian male walked into another dance studio around 11 p.m. Saturday night with a gun, but the people inside the venue disarmed that man and he fled. “We don’t know though at this time if it is connected,” Luna said.
Questions still remain about the shooter. LAist reported that in response to concerns that this might have been a motivated by hate, Luna said: "We don't know if this is a hate crime as defined by law, but who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?"
Update: The Los Angeles Times is reporting that a man was found dead, likely of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, in a white van that authorities believe may be connected to the Saturday night shooting. A SWAT team closed in on the van just before 1 p.m. Sunday in a parking lot in Torrance, at the corner of Hawthorne and Sepulveda boulevards. Two bullet holes were visible in the driver's side window before SWAT officers approached, and the driver was slumped over the steering wheel and was pronounced dead. Sheriff Luna has not confirmed that this was the shooting suspect as of 2:15 p.m.
Update 2: The suspect has been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, and the encounter at the second dance studio in Alhambra appears to have been confirmed as involving Tran, per the New York Times. No motive is yet known.
The 10 victims were all men and women in their 50s, 60s, and 70s, and two of the female victims have been identified as My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 64.
Saturday’s mass shooting is the the deadliest in the U.S. in 2023 so far, and the deadliest since the massacre at the Uvalde, Texas elementary school where 19 children and two teachers were killed, according to the New York Times.
Suspect photos via of L.A. County Sheriff's office