Authorities in California have identified the suspect in a mass shooting that killed ten people and injured ten more at a ballroom during Lunar New Year celebrations on Saturday.
Huu Can Tran, 72, was identified as the suspect by Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna.
The suspect was identified hours after he shot and killed himself in a white van in Torrance, about 30 minutes away from the shooting scene in Monterey Park. Authorities said it was the same van the suspect used to flee the shooting on Saturday night.
Before entering the van, law enforcement officers surrounded it with tactical vehicles and bomb squad trucks. According to Luna, several pieces of evidence, including a handgun, were discovered inside the van, linking the suspect to the shooting scene.
Luna stated that no other suspects are at large and that there is “no longer a threat” to the community. Authorities have not provided a motive, stating that the investigation is ongoing.
According to Luna, seven people are still in the hospital. He did not know the exact ages of the victims, but said they all appeared to be over 50.
“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 stated that the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park killed five women and five men and injured ten others. 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 wrested it from him before he fled, according to Luna.
Monterey Park, located on the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles, has a population of about 60,000 people, the majority of whom are Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting occurred in the city’s heart, where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year celebrations. A police vehicle was parked near a large banner that read, “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”
The Monterey Park celebration is one of the largest in California. Two days of festivities were planned, with up to 100,000 people expected to attend in previous years. However, following the shooting, officials canceled Sunday’s events.
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 with signs in both English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, Chinese holidays are observed, and Chinese films are shown on a regular basis in the city.