The hunt for a gunman who killed 10 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club ended Sunday when authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee after people thwarted his attempt at a second shooting.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large. He added that the motive remained unclear for the attack, which wounded 10 more.
Luna did not have the exact ages of the victims but said they all appeared to be over 50. Seven of the wounded people remained in the hospital, he said.
The identification of Tran followed a devastating mass shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, a predominately Asian American community seven miles outside of Los Angeles, in the midst of the region’s Lunar New Year’s celebrations.
Heavily armed, Tran entered the studio around 10:20 p.m. Saturday night, killing five men and five women and injuring 10 more.
Around half an hour later, he entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra. People in the ballroom wrestled the gun away from the him, and he fled, according to police.
The van, matching the description of one identified by witnesses in Alhambra, was found in Torrance, about 22 miles away from the second studio.
Luna released a bulletin Sunday afternoon, showing a picture of a “male/adult/Asian” homicide suspect in a beanie and glasses. Luna said the suspect should be “considered armed and dangerous.”
The tragedy marks the country’s fifth mass killing this month and the deadliest attack since 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24.
Monterey Park, which has a 65% Asian population and commonly includes both Cantonese and Mandarin languages, has one of the largest Lunar New Year’s festivals in California. Officials canceled the second day of the festival out of an abundance of caution and respect for the victims.
Across the U.S., the vicious attack has made a mark on Asian American and Pacific Islander, AAPI, communities.
“On a day when the AAPI community should be gathering to celebrate Lunar New Year, we once again find ourselves grieving,” the Asian American Foundation tweeted Sunday. … “We are heartbroken for the victims, we mourn with their families, and we are angry. Violence against the AAPI community has not gone away.”
The foundation called on the public and leaders to “prioritize addressing hate-fueled violence in all of our communities” and said the story should not “fade from the headlines.”
In Boston, city leaders called on “action to protect our communities.”.
“Lunar New Year is the biggest celebration of the year for many AAPI communities symbolizing the strength of family and community to overcome any challenges,” Mayor Michelle Wu and City Council President Ed Flynn wrote in a joint statement. … “We are devastated by yet another mass shooting in our country, this time at what should have been a joyous celebration.”
“I represent a large AAPI community in Boston, specifically a large Chinese community in Chinatown, the South End and the Bay Village,” Flynn said. “Residents are concerned and nervous about violence against the AAPI community across the country.”
Flynn said he has had conversations with community members, is not yet aware of any alterations to Lunar New Year’s activities in the city and is “confident” in the professionalism of the Boston Police Department.
“As Boston celebrates the Lunar New Year this week — with many events back in person for the first time in three years — we do so in solidarity with Monterey Park’s families and communities,” the statement reads.
Material from AP reporting was used in this article.
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A forensic photographer gets ready to take pictures of a van’s window and its contents in Torrance, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A mass shooting took place at a dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration, setting off a manhunt for the suspect. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Police officers stand outside a ballroom dance club in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A mass shooting took place at a dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration, setting off a manhunt for the suspect. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)