Monterey Park shooting – latest: Suspect Huu Can Tran’s motive remains unknown as death toll rises to 11 and first victims named

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SWAT team reaches suspect white van involved in standoff connected to LA mass shooting

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment a heroic 26-year-old wrestled a gun away from accused mass shooter Huu Can Tran before he could embark on a second horror shooting rampage in California.

The video shows Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, disarming Tran just minutes after the 72-year-old shot dead 10 victims at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in nearby Monterey Park.

“I needed to get the weapon away from him, disarm him, or else everyone else would have died,” heroic Mr Tsay told ABC News on Monday.

After being tackled by Mr Tsay, Tran fled the scene.

On Sunday, he was tracked down to a parking lot in Torrance where he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a white van during a standoff.

A motive for the massacre remains unknown, though acquaintances revealed he had ties to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

Meanwhile, the first victims killed have now been identified. Friends said Ming Wei Ma, the owner of the studio was killed as he heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office named two women, My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63, as victims.

All eleven of those who died were over the age of fifty. Another nine were injured.

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President Biden’s full statement following shooting

The White House released the following statement from President Joe Biden following the deadly shooting in Monterey Park.

Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don’t know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds.

Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.

Early this morning, I directed my Homeland Security Advisor to mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities as they continue to respond and investigate this shooting. As we await more crucial information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can.

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 05:30

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Immediate aftermath and reaction to the shooting

Following the deadly shooting and attempted second attack, the second day of the Lunar New Year festivities was cancelled on Sunday, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Weise.

“The festival that occurred Saturday also extended to Sunday. Out of an abundance of caution and reverence for the victims, we are canceling the event that’s going to happen later today,” he told reporters.

Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office in LA, issued a statement in response to the shooting.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighbouring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” he said.

Monterey Park’s demographic data shows that just over 65 per cent of its population identifies as Asian, with Hispanic identifying people making up the next largest group at 28 per cent.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Sunday morning that Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and noted that FBI agents had been dispatched to investigate the attack.

Governor Gavin Newsom called the attack a “heartless act of gun violence”.

“Monterey Park should have had a night of joyful celebration of the Lunar New Year. Instead, they were the victims of a horrific and heartless act of gun violence. Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night. We are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.

On Sunday, he visited Monterey Park and issued a proclamation declaring Lunar New Year and ordering flags across all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 04:30

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How did the standoff with the shooter unfold?

After fleeing the Lai Lai Ballroom, Tran went on the run and a huge manhunt was launched to track him down.

It culminated around 12 hours later with a police standoff in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park.

Witnesses at the Alhambra incident had reported seeing a white van at the scene and officers spotted Tran driving the van around Torrance on Sunday morning.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference on Sunday that, as police closed in, Tran drove into a parking lot and shot himself dead.

“When officers exited their patrol vehicle to contact the occupant, they heard one gunshot coming from within the van,” the sheriff said.

SWAT teams surrounded the vehicle before approaching the van.

(ABC7)

The armored vehicles were positioned directly behind and infront of the van to prevent the suspect from driving away from the scene. Later, a third BearCat was moved to block the driver’s side door of the van, where the window had been smashed out.

SWAT members then opened the passenger and side doors of the vans and found Tran dead inside from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Evidence found inside the vehicle – including a handgun – allegedly ties the 72-year-old to the shooting.

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 03:30

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What happened at the second location in Alhambra?

Around 20 minutes after the first shooting, investigators believe Tran then travelled to a second dance studio in the neighbouring city of Alhambra.

There, a heroic worker managed to wrestle the semiautomatic assault pistol from the suspect as he attempted to carry out a second attack.

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment 26-year-old Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom, bravely wrestled the gun away from Tran.

Mr Tsay told the New York Times that he was in the office off the lobby watching the ballroom when he heard the front doors swing close and a noise that sounded like metal hitting metal.

Surveillance footage captures a brave patron stopping the gunman at Lai Lai Ballroom

( Lai Lai Ballroom)

At that moment, he said he turned around to see the suspect pointing a gun at him.

Mr Tsay described the suspect as “menacing” saying: “He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm.” The two men got into a struggle before the 26-year-old managed to disarm the gunman.

Tran fled the scene – with no one at that second studio injured.

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 02:30

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What happened in Monterey Park on Saturday night?

On Saturday night in Monterey Park, approximately seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles, visitors gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The two-day festival draws tens of thousands, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the region, according to the paper.

Around 10.22pm, a man entered the Star Dance Studio and began shooting. Police do not know if he was targeting individuals, firing indiscriminately, or both.

Seung Won Choi, the owner of a seafood restaurant across the street from the ballroom, told the LA Times that party attendees fled the building and ran into his business, warning him to close and lock his doors.

Map showing locations of Star Dance Studio, where gunman Huu Can Tran shot dead 10 people; the Lai Lai Ballroom, where he was disarmed by members of the public; and Torrance, where his van was stopped by police

(Datawrapper)

Police arrived at the scene and found that the partygoers were already fighting to escape the building.

“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons … pouring out of the location, screaming,” Monterey Park police chief Scott Wiese told reporters Sunday. “The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims.”

Ten victims were killed in the attack and another 10 wounded. One of the wounded succumbed to their injuries on Monday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said witnesses described the suspect as a male of Asian descent, between the ages of 30 and 50, though he noted during a Sunday press conference that descriptions were not consistent between all witnesses.

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 01:30

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Investigators find homemade ‘suppressors’ at shooter;s home

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters on Monday that investigators who searched the gunman’s home in Hemet, California, found a .308-caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and electronic devices, including mobile phones and computers.

Sheriff Luna also said that they found items that made them believe the suspect was making firearm silencers, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Graeme Massie24 January 2023 01:15

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Police say shooter made ‘poison’ complaint to them earlier this month

The gunman showed up at the Hemet Police Department lobby on 7 January and 9 January saying that his family tried to poison him in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago.

He left and said he would return with evidence as well as making allegations of fraud and theft, Hemet police spokesperson Alan Reyes told The Los Angeles Times.

But officials say that they never saw him again.

Graeme Massie24 January 2023 00:54

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What we know about Huu Can Tran

The suspect accused of killing 10 people in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California was found dead in a van from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as law enforcement closed in on him, authorities said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna on Sunday identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

Here’s what we know so far about the suspect:

Oliver O’Connell24 January 2023 00:30

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Hero who disarmed gunman speaks out

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment a heroic 26-year-old wrestled a gun away from accused mass shooter Huu Can Tran before he could embark on a second horror shooting rampage in California.

The video shows Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, disarming Tran just minutes after the 72-year-old shot dead 10 victims at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in nearby Monterey Park.

“I needed to get the weapon away from him, disarm him, or else everyone else would have died,” heroic Mr Tsay told ABC News on Monday.

Graeme Massie24 January 2023 00:23

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City of Monterey Park to hold vigil

The City of Monterey Park will hold a vigil on Tuesday 24 January at 5.30pm at city hall.

“We believe that it is important for our community to come together to remember and heal,” stated Mayor Henry Lo.

A memorial honoring the victims and survivors has already been established at the Monterey Park City Hall.

In light of the vigil event, the City Council is cancelling a previously scheduled Mayoral Installation/City Council Reorganisation Ceremony that was originally planned for Tuesday night.

Oliver O’Connell23 January 2023 23:30

Monterey Park shooting – latest: Suspect Huu Can Tran’s motive remains unknown as death toll rises to 11 and first victims named

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