California Lunar New Year Mass Shooting
Lunar New Year mass shooting. A gunman opened fire at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance studio following a Lunar New Year celebration, killing 10 people, wounding another 10 people and setting off a manhunt for the suspect in the nation’s fifth mass killing this month.
The wounded were taken to hospitals, where their conditions ranged from stable to critical, Capt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department said on Sunday.
The Police initially provided limited details on the suspect, but later revealed at a press conference on Sunday morning that investigators’ preliminary belief is that the suspect is an Asian male.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference Sunday that the suspect who left 10 people dead and 10 injured at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park is still at large.
Capt. Andrew Meyer from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau confirmed early Sunday that 10 victims were pronounced dead at the scene, with 10 additional victims taken to local hospitals in various conditions ranging from stable to critical.
Meyer said the suspect, whom authorities earlier identified as a male, fled the scene after the shooting and remains on the run.
The Lunar New Year is the most important annual holiday in China. Each year is named after one of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac in a repeating cycle, with this year being the Year of the Rabbit. For the past three years, celebrations were muted due to the pandemic.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said a “very preliminary description” was that the suspect is an Asian man, but he did not provide further details.
“We are utilizing every resource to apprehend this suspect in what we believe to be one of the county’s most heinous cases,” Luna said.
Officials were investigating whether an incident at another dance club in the neighboring city of Alhambra about 20 minutes later on Saturday night was connected with the massacre in Monterey Park. At the second club, witnesses said an Asian man walked in holding a gun that patrons were able to grab. No one was shot and the man fled, Luna said.
When police arrived at the Monterey Park club, people were “pouring out of the location screaming,” department captain Andrew Meyer told reporters at an earlier news briefing.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people and around 7 miles from downtown Los Angeles. About two-thirds of its residents are Asian, according to U.S. Census data, and the city is known for its many Chinese restaurants. According to government data, 65 percent are Asian American and 27 percent are Hispanic or Latino.
The mass shooting was one of the deadliest in the United States. There have been 33 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive; the one in Monterey Park was the second in less than a week in California.
It happened after the city’s Lunar New Year celebration of the “Year of the Rabbit” downtown. The shooting was reported in a ballroom at 122 W. Garvey Ave., near the intersection of Garvey and Garfield avenues.
The shooting occurred about 10:20 p.m. and “appears to be” an isolated incident, Deputy Tracy Koerner said. It occurred about an hour after the city’s Lunar New Year festival ended.
A manhunt is underway for the unidentified suspect, who police described only as an Asian man between the age of 30 to 50.
Anyone with information about the shooting is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890–5500. Information can be provided anonymously to “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
In a statement, Lai Lai Ballroom said it would remain closed Sunday as investigators combed through the crime scene at Star Dance Studio.
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