What we know about Lunar new year tragedy in California

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Inez Arakaki comforts her son Zachary while visiting a makeshift memorial site in front of the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, on January 23, 2023, where 10 people were shot dead late on January 21, 2023. Photo by Frederic J. Bruin/AFP via Getty Images

A mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, a predominantly Asian-American city east of Los Angeles, killed 11 people and injured nine others on the eve of the Lunar New Year Saturday night, local authorities said.

The last: The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office on Monday released the names of two people killed in the shooting. A third victim, a 68-year-old man who died of serious injuries, was identified Monday afternoon.

  • Eight other victims, ranging in age from 50 to 70, have yet to be identified as law enforcement officials are informing next of kin.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference Monday that the search warrant at Huu Can Tran’s – the suspected shooter – Hemet residence led investigators to recover a gun, cell phones and computers.

  • In addition, the suspect “manufactured homemade firearm suppressors” and had “hundreds of ammunition” in containers, Luna said.

Hemet police said in a statement Monday that Tran, 72, visited the station twice earlier this month, “blaming past fraud, robbery and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago.

  • Tran stated that he would return to the station with documentation of his allegations, but he never returned,” the statement read.
  • His body was found in a van with self-inflicted gunshot wounds after a standoff with police in Torrance, Calif., Luna said.
  • It was not immediately clear how many guns had been used in the shooting, but police seized a semi-automatic pistol and found a gun in the van where Tran’s body was found.
    Flowers and a candle at the entrance to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio after police removed tape from the Monterey Park crime scene on Sunday.
Flowers and a candle at the entrance to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio after police removed tape from the Monterey Park crime scene on Sunday. Photo: Leonard Ortiz/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

What we look at: It’s too early to say if the suspected gunman knew any of the victims or if the attack was targeted, said Captain Andrew Meyer of the LA County Sheriff’s Department.

Situation: President Biden said in a statement Sunday evening that he had directed his homeland security adviser to “mobilize full federal support for local and state authorities as they continue to respond and investigate this shooting.”

A screenshot of a tweet from President Biden saying he is "praying for the dead and injured in last night's fatal shooting in Monterey Park," adding that he is closely monitoring the situation.
Photo: President Biden/Twitter

The big picture: The shooting took place at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Saturday night, the eve of the Lunar New Year.

  • “What should have been a festive evening to welcome the first day of the Lunar New Year turned into a tragedy,” the studio said in a statement.
  • Monterey Park hosted a two-day New Year’s Eve party this weekend, one of the largest in Southern California, AP notes.

  • Sunday’s planned festivities were canceled “out of an abundance of caution and out of deference to the victims,” ​​Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese told reporters.

By the numbers: The Monterey Park tragedy was the 23rd mass shooting in the U.S. this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as when four or more people are shot, not counting the gunman.

What they say: “I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the wider area that we will support you in any way we can,” Biden said Sunday. “Even as we continue to search for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community.”

Representative Judy Chu (D-Calif.) said at Sunday night’s press conference that the local community was “scared because they thought they shouldn’t be going to events because there was an active shooter,” but they could feel safe now.

  • “It is appalling that something like this could happen at a time of celebration for so many in the AAPI community and in the Asian community worldwide,” she said.
A screenshot of a tweet from Governor Gavin Newsom offering his condolences to the victims of the state's latest shooting and saying he is monitoring the situation.
Photo: California Governor Gavin Newsom/Twitter

Go deeper… In Photos: Monterey Park Honors Mass Shooting Victims

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated throughout with additional details.


The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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