Suspect in the California Lunar New Year massacre commits suicide
Twelve hours after killing 10 people and wounding 10 more at a Lunar New Year dance club, a 72-year-old shooter committed suicide when confronted by police on Sunday.
Officials said the shooter attempted a second shooting at a different club only minutes after the first one on Saturday night, but that two witnesses were able to grab his pistol from him. At that point, he ran away.
Huu Can Tran, a septuagenarian, was named as the suspect by Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. Tran, Luna said, used a high-capacity magazine handgun to open fire on an ageing crowd at a ballroom dancing club in Monterey Park, about 7 miles (11 km) east of downtown Los Angeles.
Although there is a lot of gun violence in the US, investigators do not yet know the motivation. Luna did not give any names, but she did say that the 10 people killed consisted of 5 men and 5 women who all seemed to be in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. The sheriff stated that Tran weapon looked to violate California law since it had a magazine that held more than 10 bullets.
“We want to know, we want to know how something this awful can happen,” Luna said to the press.
It was at 10 p.m. PST on Saturday (0600 GMT on Sunday) when police believe Tran opened fire in Monterey Park, and roughly 20 minutes later, he was challenged by onlookers at a second dance club in the nearby city of Alhambra, Luna said.
“I can tell you that the suspect walked in there, probably with the intent to kill more people, and two brave community members decided they were going to jump into action and disarm him,” Luna added.
The sheriff said that Tran shot himself as police closed in on the white van he was driving on Sunday near Torrance, some 20 miles (34 km) from the shooting scene at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park. As they got closer, police heard a single gunshot coming from the vehicle, so they backed off and called in the SWAT squad.
Seven of the ten injured were still hospitalised as of Sunday night, with at least one in critical condition.
Near the scene of the shooting, hundreds of people from all across Southern California arrived for a two-day Chinese Lunar New Year festival that shut down numerous downtown roadways.