California authorities have identified the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting that killed 10 people and injured 10 others at a ballroom during Lunar New Year celebrations.
Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna identified the suspect as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.
The identification came hours after the suspect shot and killed himself in a white van in Torrance, about 30 minutes from the shooting location in Monterey Park. Authorities said it was the same van the suspect used to flee Saturday night’s shooting.
Law enforcement officials surrounded the van with tactical vehicles and bomb squad trucks earlier Sunday before entering the vehicle. Luna said several pieces of evidence – including a handgun – were found inside the van linking the suspect to the shooting scene.
Luna said no other suspects are at large and there was “no longer a threat” to the community. Authorities have not provided a motive saying the investigation is ongoing.
Seven people remain hospitalized, Luna said. He did not have the exact ages of the victims but said they all appeared to be over 50.
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“I still have questions in my mind, which is: What was the motive for the shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he get these guns and was it through legal means or not?” said Congresswoman Judy Chu, who spoke alongside Luna at Sunday evening’s press conference outside Monterey Park City Hall.
Luna said the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park left five women and five men dead and wounded another 10 people. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra.
The suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun, and people wrestled the weapon away from him before he fled, Luna said.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles and is composed mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting happened in the heart of its downtown where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner that proclaimed “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”
The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California’s largest. Two days of festivities, which have been attended by as many as 100,000 people in past years, were planned. But officials canceled Sunday’s events following the shooting.
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The shooting occurred at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from city hall on Monterey Park’s main thoroughfare of Garvey Avenue, which is dotted with strip malls of small businesses whose signs are in both English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are both widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated and Chinese films are screened regularly in the city.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.