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Monterey Park shooting suspect remains unidentified and on the run hours after killing 10 at dance studio

Tens of thousands of people were in attendence for Lunar New Year festival

Shweta Sharma,Rich Booth
Sunday 22 January 2023 17:19 GMT
California shooting: 10 people killed and several injured in Chinese New Year attack

At least 10 people were killed and 10 others are injured after a mass shooting in Monterey Park, a city east of Los Angeles where thousands of members of the Asian American community had gathered for Lunar New Year celebrations.

Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the shooter, described only as a male Asian between 30 and 50 years old, remains at large hours after opening fire at the Star Dance ballroom dance study on Garvey Avenue at about 10pm on Saturday.

Much information remains unknown about the shooting, which took place shortly after tens of thousands of people had gathered to attend Chinese New Year celebrations.

Police have not identified the shooter or the motive, amid concern it may have been a hate crime.

Investigators believe the shooting may have been linked to a separate incident in a neighbouring suburb.

About 20 to 30 minutes after the shooting, an armed Asian male allegedly entered the Lai Lai ballroom dance studio in Alhambra.

He was confronted by witnesses who disarmed him, police said. A gun was recovered from that scene, but it has not been officially linked to the Monterey Park shooting.

Footage posted on social media showed deserted, cordoned-off streets guarded by police cars in the aftermath of the shooting.

Other videos online showed police, fire units and ambulances swarming an area on Garvey Avenue and treating victims.

Seung Won Choi, a seafood barbecue restaurant owner across the street where the shooting took place, told the LA Times there was a man with a machine gun in the area.

Mr Choi said the gunman reportedly had multiple rounds of ammunition on him and three people were rushed inside his restaurant, telling him to lock the door.

Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia said in a tweet: “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred.”

The incident took place on the first day of a two-day festival, one of the largest Lunar New Year events in Southern California.

It happened in a city of around 60,000 people that includes a large Asian population.

Marvel star Simu Liu said he is “shocked, saddened, angered, and heartbroken” by the shooting in an area where thousands of Asian American families live. He stated a death toll of 10 people, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.

“A gunman has murdered ten people and injured over a dozen others in Monterey Park, where tens of thousands of Asian American families had gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year that day. He is still at large. This should be getting way more coverage in media. A terrible act,” he said, as police are yet to confirm the casualties.

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