10 people dead, 10 injured during mass shooting at Calif. dance studio; suspect still at large

A Chinese Lunar New Year celebration ended in tragedy on Saturday night, after a gunman opened fire at a nearby dance studio in Monterey Park, California, killing 10 and injuring at least 10 others.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) responded “to assist Monterey Park Police Department with a shooting death investigation” in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue at around 10:22 p.m.

No motive for the massacre has been identified, and the male suspect is still at large.

The owner of a seafood barbecue restaurant across from where the shots rang out, Seung Won Choi, said three people rushed into his establishment and instructed him to lock the door because a man with a semiautomatic rifle and multiple rounds of ammunition was in the area, the Los Angeles Times reported.

More from the Times:

Wong Wei, who lives nearby, said his friend had gone to the dance club that night with a few of her friends. His friend was in the bathroom when the shooting started.

When she came out, he said, she saw a gunman and three bodies — two women and one person who was the boss of the club, Wei said. He said his friend escaped to his home around 11 p.m.

The shooter was carrying a long gun and appeared to fire indiscriminately, his friends told him.

“They don’t know why, so they run,” he said.

 

“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals… screaming,” an LASD spokesperson told reporters. “Officers made entry into the location and located additional victims. Monterey Park Fire Department responded to the scene and treated the injured and pronounced ten of the victims deceased at the scene.”

“There are at least ten additional victims that were transported to numerous local hospitals and are listed in various conditions, from stable to critical,” he continued.

“The suspect fled the scene and remains outstanding,” he stated.


Monterey Park was kicking off a two-day Lunar New Year festival — the largest in the region — when the shooting occurred. Tens of thousands of people were gathered to enjoy the event, which was scheduled from 10 a..m. to 9 p.m., The LA Times reports.

“Earlier today at the Monterey Park Lunar Festival, @RepJudyChu talked about bringing back this event in the midst of unprecedented obstacles the community went through brought on by the pandemic,” wrote one user on Twitter. “After hearing about the mass shooting, I can’t help but feel great sadness.”

A city of roughly 61,000 people, 65% of Monterey Park residents are Asian American.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” tweeted Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia. “Monterey Park is home to one of the largest Asian communities in Los Angeles County and many were out celebrating the Lunar New Year.”

Californian Governor Gavin Newsom has yet to release a statement on the shooting.

“My dad got wounded and my mom is still missing,” one Twitter user stated following the shooting. “I don’t know what to think or say.”

Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you may call “Crime Stoppers” by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477), use your smartphone by downloading the “P3 Tips” Mobile APP on Google play or the Apple App Store or by using the website.

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