the main points
- The shooting took place during a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, near Los Angeles.
- Law enforcement officials said the suspect, aged 72, killed himself when police approached him.
- Monterey Park is home to one of the largest Asian American communities in the United States.
This article contains references to suicide/self-harm.
A 72-year-old man killed himself when police approached him on Sunday, about 12 hours after he committed a Lunar New Year massacre at a dance club that left 10 dead and 10 injured.
The man attempted another shooting at another club just minutes into the first Saturday night, but authorities said two bystanders pulled the man’s gun from him before any shots were fired. He ran away from this scene.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the suspect as Hou Kan Tran, a 70-year-old who said he used a high-capacity magazine revolver to shoot a dance hall popular with seniors in Monterey Park, about 11 miles away. kilometers east of downtown Los Angeles.
Investigators do not yet know the motive.
Luna did not identify any of the victims but said the five men and five women appeared to be in their 50s, 60s and older.
Police officers stand outside a dance club in Monterey Park, California, on Sunday where a mass shooting took place after a Lunar New Year celebration. Source: aap / Jay Si Hong / AP
The sheriff said the gun Tran used appeared to be illegal in California, where state laws prohibit any magazine holding more than 10 rounds.
“We want to know, we want to know how something horrible could happen,” Luna told reporters.
Police say Tran carried out the shooting in Monterey Park around 10 p.m. PST on Saturday (5 p.m. EST Sunday), and was confronted by bystanders at a second dance club in the nearby city of Alhambra about 20 minutes later.
“I can tell you the suspect got in there, probably with the intention of killing more people, and a couple of brave community members decided they were going to get to work and disarm him,” Luna said.
Sheriff said Tran pointed a gun at himself on Sunday when police approached a white van he was driving in Torrance, about 34 kilometers from the shooting site of the Star Ballroom Dance studio in Monterey Park.
Shooting scene in Monterey Park, California. Ten people were shot dead during a gathering to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Source: GT / Eric Thayer
The officers reportedly heard a single gunshot from the truck as they approached, then returned and called a SWAT team.
Of the 10 injured, seven remained hospitalized Sunday night, with at least one person in critical condition.
The shooting took place around the site of the Lunar New Year celebration for two days as several downtown streets were closed for festivities that draw thousands of people from all over Southern California.
Chester Chung, president of the Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce, described the city of about 60,000 residents as a Where everyone knows each other and helps each other.
The city has for decades been a destination for immigrants from China and about 65 percent of its residents are Asian, according to US Census data.
“People were calling me last night, and they were afraid that this was a hate crime,” Mr. Chung said at the scene.
Star Ballroom Dance Studio opened in 1990, and their website contains many photographs of past Lunar New Year celebrations showing patrons smiling and dancing in party clothes on the large, brightly lit ballroom.
Most of its patrons are middle-aged or older, although children also attend dance classes for young adults, according to a studio instructor who asked not to be named.
Police gather at the scene near the intersection of Garvey and Garfield Avenue in Monterey Park, California. Source: GT / Frederick J Brown
The teacher said: “These are ordinary workers.” “Some are retired and just looking for exercise or social interaction.”
New Year’s Eve party website flyer announced Saturday night, 7:30pm-12:30am Sunday (2:30pm-7:30pm EST Monday)
And according to Tiffany Chew, who was partying at her parents’ house near the ballroom, some mistook the shooting for New Year’s fireworks.
“A lot of elderly people live here, and it’s usually really quiet,” she said.
“This is not something you would expect here.”
President Joe Biden condemned the killings in a written statement and said he directed his homeland security adviser to mobilize federal support for local authorities.
The attack in Monterey Park was the deadliest since May 2022, when a gunman was killed .
The deadliest shooting in California history was in 1984 when a gunman killed 21 people at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, near San Diego.
Readers seeking crisis support can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14, the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 and the Children’s Helpline on 1800 55 1800 (for young people up to 25). More mental health information and support is available at www.mentalhealth.org and at 1300 22 4636.