Updated January 23, 2023 at 3:33 PM ET
A mass shooting over the weekend at a dance studio in Monterey Park, a city east of Los Angeles, killed 11 people and left nine others injured.
After an hours-long manhunt, the suspect was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, officials said. The suspect has been identified as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man.
The late Saturday evening attack took place in a predominantly Asian American community on Lunar New Year's Eve, after a popular festival in the area. Ten people — five women and five men — were pronounced dead at the scene Saturday night. An 11th victim later died at a hospital, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services (DHS) said in a statement on Monday. The victim was not identified by officials.
One of the remaining victims receiving care at LAC+USC Medical Center, one remains in serious condition, while the remaining two patients are recovering, the county health department said.
On Monday, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner identified two of the victims as 65-year-old My Nhan and 63-year-old Lilan Li. The remaining three females and five males, all in their 50s, 60s and 70s, have not yet been identified.
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The motive for the shooting is not known. The FBI and state authorities are also involved in the investigation.
The suspect targeted two separate dance studios
At around 10:22 p.m. local time on Saturday, a gunman opened fire inside of Star Dance Studio, a Chinese-owned ballroom dance studio on West Garvey Avenue, less than a block from where a Lunar New Year festival was held. The first day of the two-day festival had just ended. The event, which officials said drew more than 100,000 attendees, was canceled after the shooting.
Ten people were pronounced dead at the scene. The wounded victims were rushed to local hospitals, in conditions ranging from stable to critical.
About a half hour after the attack, the same armed man went into another ballroom studio, Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, in nearby Alhambra, a few miles away.
The suspect went to the second location with the "intent to kill more people," Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said, but two people successfully disarmed the suspect by wresting the weapon out of his hands.
The suspect was using what local authorities said was a magazine-fed assault-style pistol, of which Luna said he was unsure of its legal status in the state.
On Sunday at about 10:20 a.m., police saw a white cargo van in Torrance, Calif. The driver of the van pulled over and police surrounded it, then heard a single gunshot. Authorities retreated and returned at about 12:52 p.m. with backup, to find Tran inside, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
The Asian American community is on edge
Monterey Park's population is more than 65% Asian, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
The city of nearly 60,000 residents had just wrapped up the first day of its Lunar New Year Festival when the shooting occurred.
Lunar New Year, which began Sunday, is one of the most important festivals across Asian societies, including in Vietnam, China, Korea and Mongolia. The holiday historically starts on the first full moon of the lunar year, but its start date and origins may vary across cultures.
Monterey Park council member Thomas Wong, who represents the district where the shooting took place, said his community was shocked, saddened and "on edge."
"Instead of celebrating and bringing family together to look forward to a hopeful and prosperous new year, we're starting it off with a senseless tragedy," Wong told NPR.
Leaders send their condolences to the victims' families
Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo expressed his condolences for the shooting victims and their families at a press conference, and said, "Moving forward, it is important that we be there for them, to provide services and support they need, in what will be a time of healing in the next weeks, months, if not years."
Monterey Park has established a memorial at city hall and a survivor's center at a local senior center.
President Biden was briefed on the shooting.
"Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night's deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. I'm monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and urge the community to follow guidance from local officials and law enforcement in the hours ahead," Biden said in a statement on Sunday.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom was in Monterey Park following the shooting.
"The strength of this community is incredible," he said. "No other country in the world is terrorized by this constant stream of gun violence. We need real gun reform at a national level."
The shooting in Monterey Park comes amid an already violent year for the U.S.
The country has seen at least 33 mass shootings in 2023 alone, according to data compiled by the Gun Violence Archive.
The archive defines a mass shooting as one in which at least four people are injured or killed, other than the shooter.
For a recap of how this news unfolded, read NPR's digital live coverage.
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