Death toll rises to 11 in Monterey Park mass shooting as authorities search for motive

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The latest death is among those hospitalized after the Monterey Park mass shooting and brings the death toll to 11, hospital officials said Monday (AEDT Tuesday).

“Our heroic staff at LAC+ USC Medical Center worked tirelessly to treat the four victims in our care. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we are saddened to report that one of the victims has succumbed to his serious injuries. We want to express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones,” the hospital said.

The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday in the van authorities say he used to flee after being stopped from attacking a another dance hall.
The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday in the van authorities say he used to flee after being stopped from attacking a another dance hall. (AP)

Meanwhile, authorities are searching for a motive for the shooter, killings that are sending a wave of fear through Asian American communities and casting a shadow over festivities nationwide.

The suspect, Huu Can Tran, 72 years old, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van on Sunday (AEDT Monday) that authorities say he used to flee after trying to attack a second dance hall. The mayor of Monterey Park said Tran may have attended the first dance hall he targeted.

The massacre was the nation’s fifth massacre this month, and it hit one of the biggest California holiday celebrations seen in many Asian cultures, dealing another blow to a community that has been the target of massive violence. publicized in recent years.

It is also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Law enforcement officials said the rampage could have been even deadlier. A man whose family runs the second dance hall confronted the attacker in the lobby and snatched the gun from him, The New York Times reported.

A woman pays a floral tribute to the victims of the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California. (AP)
Investigators are seen outside the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A mass shooting took place at the dance club after a Lunar New Year celebration, sparking a hunt for man for the suspect. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong) (AP)

Authorities shared little about Tran.

“We understand that he may have visited this dance hall before and maybe the motivation is related to some personal relationship. But that is something that I think investigators are still discovering and d ‘investigate,'” Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo said. Public records show that Tran once had addresses in and around town.

But LA County Mayor and Sheriff Robert Luna said the motive for the attack remained unclear, which also injured 10 people. Speaking at a press conference on Sunday evening, Luna said all of those killed appeared to be over 50. No other suspects were at large, according to the sheriff.

The suspect was carrying what Luna described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran died.

Within three minutes of receiving the call, officers arrived at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese.

Police are searching for a motive behind the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, after the death toll rose to 11. (AP)

There they found carnage inside and people trying to flee through all the doors.

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

About 20 minutes after the first attack, the shooter entered the Lai Lai ballroom in nearby Alhambra.

Brandon Tsay was in the lobby at the time and he told ABC hello america program he thought he was going to die.

“Something took hold of me. I realized I had to take the gun away from him, I had to take that gun, disarm him, or everyone would be dead,” Tsay said. “When I had the courage, I threw myself at him with both my hands, grabbed the gun and we fought.”

The mass shooting in Monterey Park, California during the Lunar New Year left the Native American community stunned. (AP)

Once Tsay grabbed the gun, he pointed it at the man and shouted, “Get out of here, I’m going to shoot, get out, get out!”

The assailant pulled over, then returned to his van, and Tsay called the police, gun still in hand.

While Luna told reporters on Sunday that two people snatched the gun from the attacker, Tsay, who works a few days a week at the dance hall her grandparents started, said The New York Times that he acted alone. Still images of security footage broadcast on hello america only showed the two men struggling for the weapon.

The suspect’s white van was found in Torrance, another community home to many Asian Americans.

After surrounding the vehicle for hours, law enforcement officers stormed the vehicle and entered it. One person’s body appeared to be slumped over the wheel and was later removed. Members of a SWAT team examined the contents of the van before driving away.

Residents walk through a Lunar New Year festival site after it was canceled due to a nearby shooting in Monterey Park, California.
Residents walk through a Lunar New Year festival site after it was canceled due to a nearby shooting in Monterey Park, California. (AP)

“The community was scared thinking they shouldn’t attend any event because there was an active shooter,” Chu said Sunday at a news conference.

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

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.

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Death toll rises to 11 in Monterey Park mass shooting as authorities search for motive

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