Ten people were killed and at least ten others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park on Saturday night. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reported that the mass shooting, one of California’s worst in recent memory, occurred in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue at around 10:22 p.m. on Lunar New Year’s Eve, about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
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Gunman at Large
There is currently little information known about the gunman, who is described as a male and is still at large. There is no known motive for the shooting, and no description of the shooter has been released.
Victims and Injuries
Firefighters pronounced ten of the victims dead at the scene, and at least ten others were taken to local hospitals with varying conditions ranging from stable to critical.
The investigation is ongoing, and it is currently unclear whether the victims were targeted or if the shooting was a hate crime. The weapon used in the shooting has been described as a firearm, but no further details have been released.
Connection to Alhambra Incident
Sheriff’s Captain Andrew Meyer stated that investigators are aware of some kind of incident that occurred in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra, and they are currently trying to determine if there is a connection between the two incidents. Law enforcement were also on scene in Alhambra at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in the 100 block of South Garfield Avenue, about two miles north of the Monterey Park shooting. It is not yet clear if this is the incident referenced by Meyer.
Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood barbecue restaurant on Garvey Avenue across from where the shooting happened, reported that three people rushed into his restaurant and told him to lock the door. They said there was a man with a semiautomatic gun in the area, and that the shooter had multiple rounds of ammunition. Wong Wei, who lives nearby, reported that his friend had gone to the dance club that night with a few of her friends. His friend was in the bathroom when the shooting started, and when she came out, she saw a gunman and three bodies. The shooter was carrying a long gun and appeared to fire indiscriminately, according to Wei’s friend.
Impact on Local Community
The shooting occurred near the site where tens of thousands had gathered on Saturday for the start of a two-day Lunar New Year festival, one of the largest holiday events in the region. The violence has left many in the area stunned, with local residents expressing sadness and shock at the tragic event.