Monterey Park (USA): The hunt for a gunman who killed 10 people at a ballroom dance club during Lunar New Year celebrations ended on Sunday when authorities found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van that 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.

Speaking at an evening press conference, he added that the motive for the attack remained unclear, which left 10 people injured.

Luna did not give the exact ages of the victims but said they all appeared to be over 50.

Seven of the injured remained in hospital, he said.

The sheriff added that the suspect was carrying what he described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran was found dead.

The Saturday night shooting in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park cast a shadow over New Year’s Eve festivities and sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities in the Los Angeles area. Other cities sent additional officers to oversee the celebrations.

Also speaking at the press conference, Congresswoman Judy Chu said she still had questions about the attack, but hoped residents would now feel safe.

“The community was scared thinking they shouldn’t attend any event because there was an active shooter,” Chu said, adding, “You are no longer in danger.”

“What was the motive of this shooter? she asked.

“Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic abuser? How did he obtain these weapons and was it through legal means or not?

Earlier on Sunday, law enforcement officials swarmed and entered the van after surrounding it for hours before entering.

One person’s body appeared to be slumped over the steering wheel and was later removed from the vehicle.

Luna previously posted photos of an Asian man who was believed to be the suspect.

The van was found in Torrance, another community home to many Asian Americans, about 34.5 kilometers from that second location.

Luna said the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park left five women and five men dead and 10 others injured.

Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said Sunday night that within three minutes of receiving the call, officers arrived at the scene.

There they found vast carnage inside and people trying to flee through every doorway.

“When they got to the parking lot, it was chaos,” Wiese said.

About 20 to 30 minutes after the first attack, the shooter entered the Lai Lai Ballroom near the Alhambra. But people snatched the gun from him before he got away, according to Luna.

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

Members of a SWAT team entered the van shortly afterwards and examined its contents before driving away.

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

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people located east of Los Angeles and is made up mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans.

The shooting unfolded in the heart of its downtown area where red lanterns decorated the streets for Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner that read “Happy New Year of the Rabbit!”

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

Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park was stunned when he went out for his early morning walk to learn that the noises he was hearing in the night were gunshots.

“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,” he said.

“And we don’t even have a lot of fireworks here. It’s weird to see that. It’s really safe here. We are right in the middle of town, but it’s really safe.

Wynn Liaw, 57, who lives about two blocks from the Monterey Park studio, said she was shocked that such a crime was happening, especially during New Year’s Eve celebrations.

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

She took a photo of the activity outside the studio to send to relatives and friends in China “to let them know how crazy the United States is going with all these mass shootings, even on New Year’s Eve. Year”.

An Associated Press/USA Today database of mass killings in the United States shows that 2022 was one of the country’s worst years with 42 such attacks – the second highest number since the tracker’s inception in 2006. database defines a massacre as four people killed, not including the perpetrator.

The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a 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 of those killed and injured, and he ordered federal authorities to support the investigation.

The Star Ballroom Dance Studio is a few blocks from City Hall on Monterey Park’s main thoroughfare, Garvey Avenue, which is dotted with small-business strip malls with signs in English and Chinese.

Both Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated, and Chinese films are regularly screened in the city.

The company offered dance lessons ranging from tango to rumba to fox trot and rented out its space for events.

On Saturday, according to his website, he was hosting an event called “Star Night” from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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