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The latest on the shooting and search in Los Angeles: 10 dead at Lunar New Year celebration

The latest on the shooting and search in Los Angeles: 10 dead at Lunar New Year celebration

gunman 10 people killed in ballroom dance studio Authorities said on Sunday that there may have been an attempt to target another dance hall in the middle of Lunar New Year celebrations – but without success.

A search that lasted hours led police to surround and enter a white van, but it was not immediately clear whether the suspect was inside.

Law enforcement officers entered a white van on Sunday afternoon that officers suspect was driven by the gunman.

Police surrounded the van with tactical vehicles and a bomb disposal squad for hours before moving inside. A man’s body appeared to have fallen over the wheel, but authorities did not immediately identify the person in the van.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna previously released photos of an Asian man believed to be the suspect, but did not name the man.

A gunman killed 10 people at a ballroom dance studio late Saturday night amid Lunar New Year celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park. Authorities said he may have tried and failed to target another dance hall.

Van Torrance, another majority Asian community, about 22 miles from that other location.

The shooting and manhunt sent ripples of fear through Asian American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year festivities across the country. Other cities sent additional officers to oversee the celebrations.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said five women and five men were killed and 10 others wounded in the shooting at the Star Ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby Alhambra.

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Authorities believe the two incidents are linked. He did not provide any details about a possible motive.

Luna said the suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun and people snatched the weapon from him before he fled.

By noon, police in tactical vehicles and bomb-squad trucks surrounded a white van in a parking lot 22 miles from the Alhambra in Torrance, another majority Asian community.

Hours earlier, Luna said officers were looking for a white van after witnesses saw the suspect flee the Alhambra in such a vehicle.

“We believe there is a person inside that vehicle. We don’t know their condition, but we’re going to handle it in the most secure way that we possibly can and try to identify that person. Could this be our suspect? Maybe,” Luna said.

Responding to a question, Luna said that the person barricading the van may have died.

Members of the SWAT team entered the van a short time later and viewed its contents before leaving. It was not clear what they found.

Authorities said Sunday they knew the suspect’s name but declined to release it because it could complicate their ability to capture him. But they released a photo that shows an Asian man wearing glasses and a winter hat. The image was taken from an attempted shooting at the Alhambra.

The sheriff declined to say what type of gun was recovered in the Alhambra. He said investigators believe the gun used in Monterey Park was not an assault rifle.

The massacre was the country’s fifth mass murder this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

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Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the east end of Los Angeles and is made up mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. Shooting took place in its city center where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year celebration. A police car was parked near a large banner that read “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California’s largest. Two days of festivities were planned, which in previous years have been attended by over 100,000 people. But officials canceled Sunday’s event after the shootings.

When Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park went out for his morning walk, he was stunned to learn that the noises he heard the night before were gunshots.

โ€œI thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,โ€ he said. โ€œAnd we don’t even get a lot of fireworks here. It’s weird to see. It’s really safe here We’re right in the middle of town, but it’s really safe.

Wynn Liaw, 57, who lives about two blocks from the Monterey Park studios, said she was shocked that such a crime would happen, especially during New Year’s celebrations.

“Chinese people, they consider Chinese New Year very, very special”โ€”a time when “you don’t do anything that will bring bad luck for the whole year,” she said.

She took a photo of the activity outside the studio to send to relatives and friends in China “to let them know how crazy America is going to be with all these mass shootings even in the new year.”

An Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the US shows that 2022 was one of the nation’s worst years with 42 such attacks โ€“ the second highest number since the tracker was created in 2006. Is. The database defines mass murder as four. People died, not including criminals.

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The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.

Aides said President Joe Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland were briefed on the situation.

The shooting took place at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from City Hall on the main thoroughfare of Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park, a strip mall dotted with small businesses whose signs are in both English and Chinese. Both Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated and Chinese films are shown regularly in the city.

The business offered dance lessons from tango to rumba to fox trot, and rented out its space for events. On Saturdays, its website said, it was hosting a program called “Star Night” from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.

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