A manhunt is underway for a gunman who turned a California ballroom into a gallery shooting late Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring 10 others.
The latest nationwide mass shooting occurred inside Star Dance Studio at around 10:22 p.m. Pacific Time in Monterey Park, California, less than an hour after the city’s Lunar New Year festivities ended. .
At a news conference Sunday morning, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna gave a “preliminary description” of the suspect: an Asian male between the ages of 30 and 50. He did not release details. information about potential motives, saying, “anything can happen. .”
“We are using all resources to arrest this suspect in what we believe is one of the most heinous cases in the county,” Luna said.
He added that law enforcement currently does not believe that an assault rifle was used in the massacre that killed five men and five women.
About 17 minutes after the shooting at Star Dance Studio, an Asian man entered a second dance studio in nearby Alhambra with a gun, but the people there grabbed the gun from him. Luna said.
“That person took off,” the sheriff explained, adding that witnesses spotted a white pickup truck in the area.
Luna noted that the second incident “may be related” to the Monterey Park shooting, but law enforcement is still investigating. On Sunday morning, officers were seen going in and out of Alhambra’s Lai Lai Ballroom, which noted on its Facebook page that it was suspending dances for the night and would only reopen on Thursday. Two.
“As an extra precaution, all students and teachers may be searched prior to entering the studio,” the studio wrote.
Earlier on Sunday, law enforcement had assured the community that it would devote all of its resources to the investigation.
“Investigators are looking for every clue in this case,” said Captain Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide division.
“We have all our resources here—an unlimited number of resources. We have resources from various law enforcement agencies. We’re looking at all the surveillance video, any surveillance video, following all the leads, so we won’t miss anything.”
Monterey Park, located less than 10 miles from Los Angeles, has a population of about 60,000. The community is about 65 percent Asian, according to US Census Bureau.
Wong Wei, who lives near the crime scene, told LA time that a massacre survivor friend came out of the bathroom and found a gunman with a long gun and three bodies.
“When officers arrived on the scene, they observed many people, the patrons of the site, pouring out of the site screaming. Officers approached the site and found other victims,” Meyer said.
“The Monterey Park Police Department Fire Department attended the scene and treated the injured and pronounced 10 victims dead at the scene. At least 10 other victims have been transported to various local hospitals and are listed in conditions ranging from stable to critical. The suspect has fled the scene and is still excellent.
In a tweet, White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said President Joe Biden was briefed by Homeland Security Adviser Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall about the horrific shooting.
“He directed her to ensure that the FBI is fully supporting the local government and to update him regularly today as more details become available,” he said. Jean-Pierre wrote.
California Governor Gavin Newsom also said the state is monitoring the situation.
“Monterey Park should have had a good night celebrating the Lunar New Year,” he tweeted. “Instead, they were the victims of a horrible and heartless act of gun violence. Our hearts mourn as we learn more about last night’s devastating actions.”
Meanwhile, Monterey Park said in a statement that the second day of the Lunar New Year festivities has been cancelled.
“The city expresses its condolences to the individuals, family and friends who have been injured in this tragic incident,” the city said.
“Although the incident did not occur during the Lunar New Year 2023, an active investigation is currently underway and the area near and around the festival has been affected. As a precaution and for everyone’s safety, the City regrets to announce the cancellation of the second day of the festival.”
A Star Ballroom Dance Studio website says the center was opened in 2013 by Maria Liang, who previously worked for Nike and East West Bank, which serves the Chinese-American community.
“With 10,000 square feet of floor space, it is one of the largest dance studios in town, with dozens of teachers and performers from Europe, America and China,” the website says.
According to the event calendar, the studio is open on Saturday nights for “Star Night,” with dance sessions from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for $10.