Sheriff: Dance club shooting suspect kills himself in van

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MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — The manhunt for a gunman who killed 10 people at a Los Angeles ballroom dance club ended Sunday when authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee the crowd. foiled his second shot attempt.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as Huu Kang Chan, 72, and said there were no other suspects. He added that the motives behind the attack, which injured 10 others, remain unclear.

The weapon believed to have been used was identified as a semi-automatic handgun with a magazine that was also found in the van.

“I still have questions: What was the motive of this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic abuser? How did he get these weapons and legally or not?” Congresswoman Judy Chu said.

Earlier on Sunday, law enforcement officials entered the van, surrounding it for several hours before entering. The man’s body appeared to have fallen onto the wheel and was later removed from the vehicle.

Earlier, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna released photos of an Asian man believed to be the suspect.

A manhunt has been launched after a gunman killed 10 people at a ballroom dance studio on Saturday night Celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park’s predominantly Asian-American community. He likely tried and failed to target a second dance hall, authorities said.

The van was found in Torrance, another community with a large Asian American population, about 22 miles (34.5 kilometers) from that second location.

The shooting sent shockwaves through Asian-American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year celebrations across the country. Other cities sent extra officers to monitor the festivities.

“The community was scared, thinking they shouldn’t go to any events because there was an active shooter,” Chu said. She added that she wants residents to feel safe now. “Feel safe,” she told residents during a press conference late Sunday. “You are no longer in danger.”

Five women and five men were killed and 10 others wounded in the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Luna said. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra.

The suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun and people wrestled his weapon from him before he fled, Luna said.

Hours earlier, Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect fleeing the Alhambra in such a vehicle.

Officers entered the van a short time later and inspected its contents before leaving. It is not clear what they found.

The massacre was the country’s fifth mass killing this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uwald, Texas.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles, made up mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting took place in the very center of the city, where red lanterns decorated the streets to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A police car was parked near a large banner reading “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of the largest in California. Two days of festivities were planned, which in previous years were visited by up to 100,000 people. But officials canceled Sunday’s events after the shooting.

Tony Lay, 35, of Monterey Park, was stunned when he went out for his morning walk to learn that the sounds he heard during the night were gunshots.

“I thought it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with the Lunar New Year,” he said. “And we don’t even have that many fireworks here. It’s amazing to see that. It’s really safe here. We’re in the heart of the city, but it’s really safe.”

Win Liu, 57, who lives about two blocks from the Monterey Park studio, said she was shocked that such a crime had occurred, especially during New Year’s celebrations.

“The Chinese consider Chinese New Year very, very special” — a time when “you don’t do anything that brings bad luck all year,” she said.

She took pictures of the activity outside the studio to send to relatives and friends in China “to let them know how crazy the US is getting with all these mass shootings, even on New Year’s.”

An Associated Press/USA Today database on mass murders in the U.S. shows that 2022 was one of the nation’s worst years, with 42 such attacks — the second-highest number since the tracker began in 2006. The database defines mass murder as the killing of four people, excluding the perpetrator.

The latest violence occurred two months after five people were killed in Colorado Springs Nightclub.

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been briefed on the situation, aides said. Biden said he and First Lady Jill Biden were thinking about those killed and injured, and he ordered federal authorities to support the investigation.

The shooting happened at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from City Hall on Monterey Park’s main street, Harvey Avenue, which is lined with small business malls with signs in English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, the city celebrates Chinese holidays and regularly shows Chinese films.

The business offered dance lessons from tango to rumba to foxtrot and rented space for events. On Saturday, according to its website, there was an event called “Starry Night” from 8:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Previously:

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — A gunman killed 10 people at a ballroom dance studio celebrating the Lunar New Year and then may have tried — but failed — to target a second dance hall, authorities said Sunday. An urgent search is underway for the suspect in the Los Angeles area.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said five women and five men were killed and 10 others were wounded in a shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra.

Luna said it is not yet clear if the events are related.

The Alhambra incident “may be related,” Luna said. “We’re not quite there yet, but it’s definitely on our radar.”

An Asian male suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun and people wrestled his weapon from him before he fled, Luna said. Investigators are interested in a white van that was seen in the area, he added.

The sheriff declined to say what type of gun was found in the Alhambra. He said investigators believe the gun used in the Monterey park was not an automatic.

The mass killing that struck fear in Monterey Park and the Alhambra was the country’s fifth mass killing this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uwald, Texas.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles, made up mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting took place in the very center of the city, where red lanterns decorated the streets to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A police car was parked near a large banner reading “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of the largest in California and attracts tens of thousands of people throughout the day.

Two days of festivities were planned, which in previous years were visited by up to 100,000 people. But officials canceled Sunday’s events after the shooting.

Tony Lay, 35, of Monterey Park, was stunned when he went out for his morning walk to learn that the sounds he heard during the night were gunshots.

“I thought it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with the Lunar New Year,” he said. “And we don’t even have that many fireworks here. It’s amazing to see that. It’s really safe here. We’re in the heart of the city, but it’s really safe.”

An Associated Press/USA Today database on US Mass Homicides shows that 2022 was one of the nation’s worst years for mass murders, with 42 such attacks, the second-highest number since the tracker began in 2006. The database identifies a mass murder of four people killed without counting the perpetrator.

The latest violence occurred two months after five people were killed in Colorado Springs Nightclub.

President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland have been briefed on the situation, aides said.

The shooting happened at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from City Hall on Monterey Park’s main street, Harvey Avenue, which is lined with small business malls with signs in English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, the city celebrates Chinese holidays, and the city regularly shows Chinese films.

The business offered dance lessons from tango to rumba to foxtrot and rented space for events. On Saturday, its website said it was hosting an event called “Starry Night” from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

Seung Won Choi, who owns the Clam House seafood barbecue restaurant across the street from the shooting, said Los Angeles Times that three men rushed into his business and told him to lock the door.

People told Tsai that there was a shooter with a gun who had several rounds of ammunition.

Wong Wei, who lives nearby, told The Los Angeles Times that his friend was in the bathroom at the dance studio when the shooting began. When she came out, he said, she saw a gunman and three bodies.

The friend then ran to Wei’s house around 11 p.m., he said, adding that his friends told him the shooter was firing indiscriminately with a long gun.



Sheriff: Dance club shooting suspect kills himself in van

Source link Sheriff: Dance club shooting suspect kills himself in van