Vice President Kamala Harris said “this violence must end” on Sunday as she publicly considered a mass shooting in Monterey Park that left 10 people dead and 10 injured.
Before giving a speech about abortion rights in Tallahassee, Florida, to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Harris said she wanted to address “the tragedy of what happened in my state.”
“Another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence,” said Harris, a former California senator and state attorney general. “All of us in this room and in our country understand that this violence must stop.”
A gunman opened fire Saturday night at a dance floor in Monterey Park, about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The shooting occurred as tens of thousands gathered nearby for the start of the two-day Lunar New Year festival, which Harris described as a “time of cultural celebration”. The festival is one of the largest holiday events in the region.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said it was too early to tell if the festival was connected to the shooting.
Lona posted photos of a suspect on social media, identifying him as an Asian man who was about 5-foot-10 and weighed 150 pounds, and should be considered “armed and dangerous.” Pictures showed the man wearing a black leather jacket, snow cap and black and white glasses.
President Biden tweeted on Sunday He was “watching the situation closely as it developed” and urged the community to follow the guidance of local authorities.
“Jill and I pray for those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park,” he wrote.
Earlier Sunday, White House officials said the president, who is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del., was briefed on the shooting by Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood Randall. The president directed her to “ensure that the FBI provides full support to local authorities,” according to administration officials.
The vice president said she and second in command Doug Emhoff join the Biden family in “mourning those killed, as we pray for those injured, and mourn for those many whose lives have been changed forever.”