Officials Say Gunman Who Killed 10 in California Is Dead

The suspect’s body was found inside a van in Torrance, the authorities said, after a manhunt that stretched across the Los Angeles region. The rampage at a dance studio left another 10 people injured.

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Pinned

The suspect shot and killed himself, the authorities said.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — It was a party to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and dance students gathered at a beloved studio in the heart of Monterey Park, Calif., once marketed as a city of dreams for Chinese immigrants newly arrived in America.

Attached to an Asian herbal store, the exterior of Star Ballroom Dance Studio was humble, its entrance off a parking lot marked by a small awning. Yet its expansive dance floor attracted marquee teachers and high-level performers from around the world. It was considered a refuge for its clientele, many of whom were older Chinese Americans who had found a comfortable space to twirl and socialize. Emanating from its doors late at night was music fit for the waltz, fox trot, tango and more.

But on Saturday night, sometime after 10 p.m., a gunman strode inside and shattered any feeling of sanctuary.

Five men and five women were fatally shot and 10 more were injured before the gunman, the police believe, left the scene and entered a second dance club in nearby Alhambra, where patrons were able to disarm him before he fled in what investigators described as a white cargo van.

The drama came to an end on Sunday afternoon, when after an hourslong manhunt, a SWAT team pinned that van in a parking lot in Torrance, some 30 miles from the scene of the shootings. Officers heard one shot as they approached the van, and discovered that the suspect had shot himself, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

The man, identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, was pronounced dead at the scene.

“I’m here to report that the suspect responsible for this tragedy is no longer a threat,” the sheriff said.

The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, last May, when 19 children and two teachers were killed, and the second major shooting in less than a week in California, after gunmen killed a family of six in Tulare County last Monday in what the police said was probably a gang-related slaying.

The killings on Sunday occurred on the eve of the Lunar New Year, a significant holiday for Asian Americans that had drawn thousands of people out to celebrate in Monterey Park earlier in the day, with plans to continue on Sunday. Neighbors would later be horrified to learn that what they thought had been the sound of celebratory fireworks was actually the explosion of gunfire.

Dozens of people were at the dance studio Saturday night, many of them facing a mirror as they performed a Chinese square dance, according to a student named Grace who was there, who said she had been dancing at the studio for about four years.

She said many people did not notice when the gunman first arrived. Then, a round of rapid-fire shots rang out. “No one dared to flee. We all got down to the ground, hiding wherever we could,” said Grace, who asked to be identified only by her English first name. She said the gunman appeared to run out of ammunition, left and then returned. “No one could get out,” she said.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

People fled to the back, she said, trying to hide in the restrooms and in a room used for karaoke.

She said she heard at least 10 shots. “First time was five or six or seven in a row. And then he ran out of bullets and then he came back and kept shooting.” All told, the gunman was inside the studio for about five minutes, she said.

Jeff Liu, 62, had been standing near the entrance when the gunman entered, according to his daughter, Juno Blees. Mr. Liu was grazed by bullets on his shoulder and his back, she said.

Ms. Blees said her father told her the gunman had appeared to shoot indiscriminately at those inside, including a worker selling tickets at a booth.

Mr. Liu’s wife, Nancy, collapsed and, as of Sunday afternoon, the family did not know her location or condition, she said. “We called all of the hospitals, but we could not locate her.”

The Monterey Park police chief, Scott Wiese, said the officers who arrived at the ballroom less than three minutes after the first call were among the youngest on the city’s force. The scene they encountered was “chaos,” he said, with dead and injured people inside the building and witnesses running out of the doors.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

“My young officers did their job, searched for a suspect and then came back and had to deal with the carnage that was inside,” he said. “And it was extensive.”

Officials learned that the suspect had gone next to the dance club in Alhambra, Sheriff Luna said, where he was disarmed by community members who he said should be considered heroes.

“I can tell you that the suspect walked in there probably with the intent to kill more people,” he said.

After the alert for the white cargo van went out, tactical teams surrounded a vehicle matching that description in Torrance, the sheriff said. More than an hour of tense preparations ensued, during which tactical officers pinned in the van with armored vehicles, and eventually broke its windows and entered. Sheriff Luna said evidence found in the van linked the man inside, who had shot and killed himself, to both crime scenes.

A handgun was recovered from the van, Sheriff Luna said, adding that the weapon confiscated from the suspect in Alhambra, a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol with an extended large-capacity magazine attached to it, was probably not legal in California.

Monterey Park, a city of about 60,000 residents, is more than 60 percent Asian American. Located about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles, it is considered a mecca for Chinese immigrants, a place where they could find comfort in the food and language of their birth land while putting down American roots for their children. With more space than Los Angeles’s Chinatown, it is a suburban enclave that a well-known developer once advertised as “the Chinese Beverly Hills,” and it remains a destination in the San Gabriel Valley, a region known for its immigrant populations and Asian and Latin cuisine.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

After a three-year hiatus during the pandemic, the city’s two-day Lunar New Year celebration had been a much anticipated event. On Saturday afternoon, Garvey Avenue, a main thoroughfare, was a cheerful scene of vendors and carnival rides. But it would soon be closed off with police tape.

Representative Judy Chu, whose district includes Monterey Park and who served as its mayor three times, said the attack “tore a hole through all of our hearts.” She had, she said, become a member of an unfortunate club: a civic leader with a mass shooting to respond to.

“It has been happening on a daily basis now, and we can barely keep count of these mass shootings,” Ms. Chu said.

She said it was important to curtail the availability of weapons, “so that it is not so easy for someone to walk into an establishment and shoot people and ruin their lives,” she said.

On Sunday, families of the victims and others who have long gathered at the dance studio were trying to make sense of what had happened.

Ms. Blees, whose father was injured and whose mother was missing, said her parents had emigrated from China to Monterey Park more than 20 years ago and rarely left each other’s side. She said her father was resting at home, torn by the lack of news about his wife and the dear friends he had made over the years.

“My parents go there a lot. They love it. They know everyone there,” she said. “It is terrible what happened.”

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

Elizabeth Yang, who dances at the studio on Mondays, said that at 40 years old, she is typically the youngest in attendance. The students take their craft seriously, she said, with women arriving in long, jewel-encrusted dresses. But they arrive to a welcoming environment, with refreshments and warm greetings, she said.

“They are folks who are enjoying the rest of their lives and wanting to have something fun,” Ms. Yang said. “They were so friendly, they would put me in front of the class, so I can be closer to the instructor.”

Heather Smith, a dance coach who trains competitors at Star Dance Ballroom, said she and the owner of the studio were at a ballroom competition and gala at a different location when the shooting occurred, but that the owner’s boyfriend had died in the shooting.

“Our dance community is very close-knit,” Ms. Smith said. “We are all just in complete shock.”

Ms. Smith said that the studio owner had been intent on reopening the dance studio during the pandemic “because she knows that dancing makes everyone happy.”

Thomas Wong, a Monterey Park city councilman, who grew up in the city and whose council district includes the site of the shooting, said many of his acquaintances had taken lessons at the studio.

“It’s a longtime business in the community, and a gathering place,” Mr. Wong said. “It’s shocking, especially this weekend, of all weekends,” he added. “We were welcoming everyone back for the first time since the pandemic. To start off the year like this is just tragic.”

Vik Jolly and Tim Arango contributed reporting from Monterey Park. Shawn Hubler contributed from Sacramento. Kellen Browning contributed from Torrance. Additional reporting was contributed by Jack Healy, Isabella Kwai, David W. Chen, Angela Chen, Glenn Thrush, Emily Schmall, Muyi Xiao and Ang Li. Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Yu Young Jin
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:48 p.m. ET

Governor Gavin Newsom of California met with residents of Monterey Park late on Sunday, including shop owners and emergency workers, according to his Twitter. He called, as he has before, for “real gun reform at a national level.” Investigators said they believe the suspect obtained the weapon illegally.

Victoria KimAng Li
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:05 p.m. ET

‘No one dared to flee’ as the shooter carried out his rampage.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Grace was in the back corner of the dance hall, practicing her steps, joining about 100 other patrons who knew the Star Ballroom Dance Studio as the place to be on Saturday nights.

Many were facing the wall-length mirror, running through their own dance moves. On the speakers was the music for guangchang wu, a public square dance popular among middle-aged and older Chinese patrons, recalled Grace, a dance student in her 50s who had been coming to the Star Ballroom for about four years.

Then, suddenly, she heard a series of pops that sounded like fireworks.

She looked toward the entrance and saw people collapsing on the floor, and she dove under a table as others were frantically doing the same, she said. She could see the gunman and his two-foot-long weapon, she recounted.

“No one dared to flee — we all got down to the ground, hiding wherever we could,” she said in an interview Sunday afternoon, down the street from the Star Ballroom. She asked that she be identified only by her English first name because she didn’t want people in the community to know she was there at the time of the shooting.

“No one could get out,” she added.

A man she called “Ma laoban” — “Boss Ma” — was near the entrance and appeared to be the first one who was shot, she said. Two people who were next to him also collapsed as five or six shots occurred in rapid succession, she said.

The gunman appeared to run out of bullets and quickly left before returning to unleash a second bout of gunshots deeper into the ballroom. Some people who appeared to have been shot were splayed out on the wooden floor; others ducked under a table or ran into a back room. The whole mass shooting lasted about five minutes, she said.

“I saw him, but I was far away and the lights were dim. I could not see his face clearly,” said Grace, who said she didn’t recognize the suspect in the photos released by local authorities Sunday morning while he remained at large.

The suspect fatally shot himself later Sunday in a parking lot about 30 miles away in Torrance as he was surrounded by the police, said Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County. The gunman was identified as Huu Can Tran, 72.

After the shooter left, several people called 911 and the police seemed to arrive swiftly, she recounted. They were taken to the police station in vans for detailed questioning about the suspect for hours, she said. Mr. Tran headed next to another ballroom dance studio in Alhambra, about three miles away, where two patrons wrested his gun away and the suspect fled on foot, Sheriff Luna said.

Grace said she didn’t get home until 3 a.m. Sunday and got only about an hour of sleep because her phone was ringing off the hook with calls from friends and acquaintances who knew she was a regular at Star, she said.

She clutched her heart, describing how scared and shaken she still felt a day after the shooting. She wasn’t sure whether she’d be able to return to the studio, where she said dancing had kept her happy and healthy, and where she had learned to dance her favorite, the waltz.

“It brings me joy. My instructor is very positive and he brings me joy, too,” she said. “Once the suspect is arrested, maybe after a period of time of healing, maybe I will go back.”

Angela Chen contributed reporting.

Location of the shooting

Monterey Park

Shooting at

Star Ballroom

Dance Studio

E. Garvey Ave.

S. Garfield Ave.

Lincoln

Hotel

Monterey Park

E. Garvey Ave.

Shooting at

Star Ballroom

Dance Studio

S. Garfield Ave.

Lincoln

Hotel

By Jason Kao and Julie Walton Shaver; aerial image of Monterey Park by Google

Edgar Sandoval
Jan. 22, 2023, 10:15 p.m. ET

A celebration turned into a nightmare for one couple on the dance floor.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Jeff and Nancy Liu arrived at the dance studio in Monterey Park on Saturday night to celebrate the Lunar New Year. But what should have been a night of celebration turned into a night of horrors, their daughter, Juno Blees, would later recount, when Mr. Liu saw a man storm in with a gun and open fire. During the chaos, Mr. Liu saw his wife collapse, Ms. Blees said, and has not seen her since.

The family is praying that she was taken to a hospital and that they will be reunited soon. The couple, who emigrated from China more than 25 years ago, rarely left each other’s side, Ms. Blees said in a phone interview on Sunday.

Two bullets grazed Mr. Liu, his daughter said, causing minor injuries to his shoulder and his back that sent him to a hospital. “He bled a lot, but the doctors said it was non-life threatening,” Ms. Blees said.

Mr. Liu, 62, was discharged Sunday and returned home to recover, Ms. Blees said. She hoped that the reason her mother, who is 63, has not been located is because she forgot to bring her identification card to the dance hall. Ms. Blees said she visited the victim resource center set up by Monterey Park officials on Sunday afternoon and was told to leave her contact information in case her mother is found.

“We are mentally preparing for the worst,” she said.

Mr. Liu told his daughter that he and his wife frequented Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the clientele is mostly middle-aged or older residents for the area, many of them migrants from China like her parents. “They know everyone,” Ms. Blees said.

Mr. Liu was standing toward the entrance, watching people dance, when the gunman began shooting. He told his daughter that he saw the gunman open fire at a dance hall operator who was selling tickets at a booth. Ms. Blees said her father “got on the floor right away.”

“He felt heat on his shoulder,” she said. “That’s when he knew that he probably got hurt.”

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Credit...via Chester Chong from the LA Chamber of Commerce

Panic and screaming followed. “Then he said he saw the gunman take off after opening fire,” she said. During the commotion, Mr. Liu saw his wife fall to the floor and lost sight of her as he was taken into an ambulance.

“He saw her collapse, and they got separated,” she said. “They got separated during the panic that ensued. So we are hoping for the best right now.”

Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:59 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said his officers were on the scene in less than three minutes after the first emergency call, and were among the youngest officers on the city’s force. The scene they encountered was “chaos,” he said, with people dead and injured and witnesses running away.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:54 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The weapon seized from the suspect in Alhambra is probably not legal to possess in the state of California, the sheriff says. Earlier, he described it as a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol that had an extended large capacity magazine attached to it.

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Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:48 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The sheriff would not identify the victims of the rampage, but said that the people who were shot in the Monterey Park ballroom were “not in their 20s and 30s” but rather in their 50s and 60s.

Andrés R. Martínez
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:46 p.m. ET

Investigators believe the van where the suspect was found dead had plates that were stolen, Sheriff Robert Luna said.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:45 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Authorities believe the suspect, who was pronounced dead at the scene, acted alone in the mass shooting, Sheriff Luna said. “Several pieces of evidence” linking him to both locations in the investigation, along with a handgun, were discovered in the van, he said. The investigation is ongoing, he said, but “there are no outstanding suspects from the mass shooting incident that occurred in the city of Monterey Park.”

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:36 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Rep. Judy Chu, a former Monterey Park mayor and longtime Democratic congresswoman, congratulated law enforcement authorities for finding the shooter in less than 24 hours. She adds, however, that questions remain: “What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he get these guns and was it through a legal means or not?”

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:31 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Sheriff Robert Luna said two community members who disarmed the suspect at a second ballroom in Alhambra are “heroes,” he said, adding that the gun taken from him at that scene was “a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol” that had “an extended large capacity magazine attached to it.”

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:28 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Seven of the wounded survivors remain hospitalized, the sheriff said. The mass shooting, which erupted at about 10:22 p.m. on the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, is the deadliest in the U.S. since the Uvalde, Texas, school massacre.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:26 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The sheriff said the motive remains under investigation. Ten people were killed and 10 more were injured at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio after a jammed community celebration to kick off the Lunar New Year. The studio, a popular gathering place for Southern California ballroom dancers, draws big crowds on Saturday nights.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:25 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The driver, identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, was found slumped behind the wheel as a SWAT team swarmed the vehicle in the parking lot of a Japanese grocery store about 30 miles away from the scene of the shooting, according to the sherif.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 8:25 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The suspect in a mass shooting last night in Monterey Park died of a self-inflicted gunshot in a van in Torrance, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna has confirmed.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times
Jan. 22, 2023, 7:00 p.m. ET

The venue, a gathering place for ballroom dancers, drew big crowds on Saturday nights.

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Credit...Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Located on a busy commercial street among grocery stores and Chinese restaurants, the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park is a popular gathering place for lovers of ballroom dancing in the Los Angeles area, and promises to train attendees in anything from the tango to the fox trot.

“That place is always packed, man,” said Alejandro Delatorre, 40, a dance instructor who worked at the venue last year and arrived early Sunday, after 10 people were killed and 10 others injured in a late-night shooting. He said that more than 90 percent of Star Dance’s clientele was Asian American.

Saturday nights drew large crowds, filling the floor with ballroom dancers of all ages. The playlist often included songs in Chinese, said Walter Calderon, 47, a dance teacher in Orange County. “It’s a huge dance floor — 6,000 square feet, with a huge amount of parking,” he said. “Most of the dancers go there.” The venue posts its schedule online in English and Chinese.

When the Monterey Park police reached the scene on Saturday night, dozens of people were streaming out of the venue, some of them with injuries, the authorities said. In all, five women and five men died in the shooting, and at least 10 more were injured, some critically.

Mr. Calderon said the dance venue would have been especially full on Saturday, the eve of Lunar New Year. “There would have been hundreds and hundreds of people there,” he said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said it believed the shooting at Star was connected to an incident in nearby Alhambra that occurred about 20 minutes after the Monterey Park shooting. The department said people at a dance venue there wrestled a firearm away from a man who then fled the scene. Local media identified that venue as the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio.

On Sunday morning, a woman arrived at the Lai Lai, entered the building using a key code, and put up a sign saying the studio was closed “in observance to the Star Dance tragedy.” She said nothing to two reporters who were present as she got in her car and drove away.

In Monterey Park, the area of Garvey Street outside Star Dance remained blocked off by law enforcement on Sunday morning. Signs of the Lunar New Year celebration that had taken place the day before were still apparent, including a small temporary stage and a red banner reading: “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

Kellen Browning
Jan. 22, 2023, 6:19 p.m. ET

Reporting from Torrance, Calif.

Officials in Torrance would not directly confirm that the van breached by a tactical team on Sunday afternoon was the same one being sought in connection with the attacks in Monterey Park and Alhambra. But in brief statements, they suggested a link. “This is how I believe this incident came to an ending here in Torrance," said Janice Hahn, a county supervisor.

Corina Knoll
Jan. 22, 2023, 5:54 p.m. ET

Reporting from Los Angeles

David Duval, who has taught at Star Ballroom Dance Studio for 10 years, said one of his students was attending a party there when the gunman appeared. The student later messaged Mr. Duval that she ran to hide under a table and saw people fall after getting shot. “I’m still shaking,” she wrote. Mr. Duval said the studio generally caters to an elderly clientele, most of whom are Chinese.

Jill Cowan
Jan. 22, 2023, 5:36 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

On the street outside the scene of the shooting, the white tents and stage that had been set up for the Lunar New Year festivities have been dismantled following the cancellation of rest of the holiday events. Crowds of journalists and onlookers watched law enforcement officers and clean-up crews do their work.

Carly Olson
Jan. 22, 2023, 5:20 p.m. ET

The shooting cut short a celebration of Lunar New Year.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Across California, Lunar New Year celebrations have grown in recent years alongside burgeoning Asian American communities and increasing tourism, particularly from China. For the first time this year, it is an official state holiday in California.

But the revelry in one predominantly Asian American city was cut short on the eve of the holiday by a shooting that took place just hours after the day’s celebrations were cleared away.

Ten people were killed and at least 10 others were injured in a shooting late Saturday night inside a dance venue in Monterey Park, Calif., about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Earlier in the day, thousands had gathered on the same street for a Lunar New Year festival that restarted this year after the pandemic prompted cancellations.

People had come to Monterey Park’s celebration “from all over Southern California and beyond,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Investigators have not disclosed a motive for the attack by a gunman described by the Los Angeles County sheriff only as “a male Asian” or whether the shooting was linked in any way to the holiday.

But the shooting rocked Monterey Park, where about 65 percent of its approximately 60,000 people are Asian American, according to government data.

Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles said in a statement that the reports out of nearby Monterey Park are “devastating,” and described gun violence as a plague. “Families deserve to celebrate the holidays in peace,” she said.

The advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate, which tracks acts of violence directed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, said in a statement on Saturday that “this tremendous act of violence” had occurred on “one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill declaring Lunar New Year — one of the most important holidays in China, Vietnam, South Korea and other Asian countries — a state holiday in California last year.

Recognition by the state “has a lot of significance, because the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is one that has traditionally and historically been overlooked,” said Evan Low, a state assemblyman from San Jose who introduced the bill, said in an interview.

On Saturday, hours before the attack, Lunar New Year festivities were underway across Southern California. At Disney California Adventure Park, thousands of visitors lined up for red and gold Lunar New Year-themed snacks and merchandise, and waited to take photos with a character dressed as a rabbit, the animal signifying the new year. In Westminster, part of the Vietnamese enclave Little Saigon in Orange County, community members prepared for its popular Tet parade.

But on Sunday, the aftermath of the attacks cast a shadow across many celebrations. Monterey Park canceled its plans entirely and Robert Luna, the sheriff of Los Angeles County, said that law enforcement officials were increasing security at Lunar New Year events across the area.

Other cities across the country — including San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Diego and Houston — said that they, too, were increasing the police presence at their Lunar New Year events as a precaution.

Jill Cowan, Jack Healy and Soumya Karlamangla contributed reporting.

Jill Cowan
Jan. 22, 2023, 5:18 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

At Langley Senior Center, where officials set up an assistance center after the shooting, a few families walked silently through a scrum of reporters toward the entrance, which was closed off to the public with caution tape. Members of the Mayor’s Crisis Response Team from Los Angeles and the Monterey Police Department ushered the families inside.

Kellen Browning
Jan. 22, 2023, 4:26 p.m. ET

Reporting from Torrance, Calif.

The tense situation in Torrance seems all but over. Investigators are examining the inside of the white van after it was breached by officers, but all three SWAT vehicles have now pulled away from the scene.

Kellen Browning
Jan. 22, 2023, 4:01 p.m. ET

Reporting from Torrance, Calif.

Law enforcement officers have opened the doors of the white van they have barricaded in Torrance, after more than an hour of waiting outside next to the SWAT vehicles that boxed it in. They’ve pulled another SWAT vehicle up to it, obstructing the view.

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Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 3:51 p.m. ET

Sheriff Luna said that officials now believe the gunman who killed 10 people in Monterey Park then went to a second dance hall in the neighboring city of Alhambra. There, people inside wrestled the weapon away from him, and the suspect fled. “We believe they are both connected,” the sheriff said of the two scenes.

Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 3:34 p.m. ET

Sheriff Luna said it was possible that the gunman who is the subject of a continuing manhunt could be inside the white cargo van that has been surrounded by police cars and SWAT vans in Torrance, Calif. But he cautioned that law enforcement did not know for sure. “Could it be our suspect? Possibly,” he said at an afternoon news briefing.

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00:00:00.000 —> 00:00:03.120 There is a tactical incident that’s 00:00:03.120 —> 00:00:06.000 occurring in the city of Torrance that 00:00:06.000 —> 00:00:07.830 is being covered. 00:00:07.830 —> 00:00:11.610 People have asked, is that your suspect? 00:00:11.610 —> 00:00:13.290 We don’t know. 00:00:13.290 —> 00:00:17.970 As I said earlier today, we had a vehicle that 00:00:17.970 —> 00:00:22.560 was described as a white box van, 00:00:22.560 —> 00:00:25.350 I guess you’d say van of interest. 00:00:25.350 —> 00:00:27.750 And there’s a man that looks just 00:00:27.750 —> 00:00:32.159 like what was described to us in the city of Torrance. 00:00:32.159 —> 00:00:35.460 It’s a barricaded suspect situation. 00:00:35.460 —> 00:00:38.460 We are working with one of our partner 00:00:38.460 —> 00:00:42.750 agencies, the Torrance Police Department, to resolve that. 00:00:42.750 —> 00:00:46.920 We believe there is a person inside of that vehicle. 00:00:46.920 —> 00:00:50.100 We don’t know their condition, but we’re 00:00:50.100 —> 00:00:53.160 going to handle that in the safest manner 00:00:53.160 —> 00:00:58.200 that we possibly can, to try and identify that person. 00:00:58.200 —> 00:01:00.120 Could it be our suspect? 00:01:00.120 —> 00:01:04.440 Possibly, but at this point, if we’re 00:01:04.440 —> 00:01:06.210 doing our jobs correctly, we’re 00:01:06.210 —> 00:01:09.660 not only looking at that situation or scenario, 00:01:09.660 —> 00:01:11.970 but we’re making sure that we’re looking 00:01:11.970 —> 00:01:15.157 at any and every possibility.

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Timothy Arango
Jan. 22, 2023, 3:24 p.m. ET

Reporting from Los Angeles

According to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter, the suspect is believed to have used an assault-style rifle in the attack that killed 10 people and wounded at least 10 more.

Kellen Browning
Jan. 22, 2023, 3:16 p.m. ET

Reporting from Torrance, Calif.

Among the many police vehicles surrounding the white van is a bomb squad vehicle, which just pulled toward the van. The two SWAT team trucks are still on each end of it, about 150 yards from where the crime tape is blocking off the scene. Police officers are now expanding the perimeter out of safety concerns.

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Credit...Abc Affiliate Kabc, via Reuters
Kellen Browning
Jan. 22, 2023, 3:08 p.m. ET

Reporting from Torrance, Calif.

Police cordoned off streets in Torrance, where they have surrounded a white van outside a shopping center as helicopters circle overhead. Bill Kidman, 67, who lives nearby, said he saw two SWAT vehicles pull up to the van and a drone fly near it, and heard officers gave commands over a loudspeaker for the occupant to open the door or roll down the window, to no avail. Kidman said he and other onlookers were soon ushered farther from the scene.

Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 2:43 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles County sheriff released photos of the suspect, showing a man with glasses and a knit hat with ear flaps. The sheriff did not identify the man by name but said on Twitter that he should be considered “armed and dangerous.”

Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 2:10 p.m. ET

Police officers in Torrance, Calif., have surrounded a white van in a development that could be connected with the pursuit of the suspect in the Monterey Park shooting. Helicopter video from local news stations showed two armored police vehicles pinning a white van from the front and back, and several police cars surrounding it. Earlier on Sunday, the sheriff of Los Angeles County said officials were seeking a white cargo van in relation to the investigation.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 12:47 p.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

The City of Monterey Park has canceled the second day of its Lunar New Year festival. Thousands packed the first day of the celebration, which restarted this year after being suspended over the pandemic. “People had come from all over Southern California and beyond,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis.

Isabella Kwai
Jan. 22, 2023, 12:25 p.m. ET

Sheriff Luna said that officials did not believe at the moment that the weapon used in the Monterey Park shooting was an assault rifle, but the matter was still under investigation.

Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:58 a.m. ET

Describing a possibly connected incident, Sheriff Luna said that an Asian male walked into a dance club in neighboring Alhambra with a gun, and that people inside wrestled the weapon away from him. The disarmed man then fled, the sheriff said. “We don’t know though at this time if it is connected,” he said.

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00:00:00.000 —> 00:00:05.970 We are working diligently with the Alhambra Police Department. 00:00:05.970 —> 00:00:10.680 We believe that there is an incident that may be related. 00:00:10.680 —> 00:00:13.890 We’re not quite there yet, but it’s definitely 00:00:13.890 —> 00:00:21.900 on our radar screen, where a male Asian suspect walked 00:00:21.900 —> 00:00:25.350 into a dance hall, and he walked 00:00:25.350 —> 00:00:27.930 in there with a firearm. 00:00:27.930 —> 00:00:33.830 And some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him. 00:00:33.830 —> 00:00:40.830 And that individual took off. 00:00:40.830 —> 00:00:43.410 Now, some witnesses in that area 00:00:43.410 —> 00:00:47.910 are describing a white cargo van. 00:00:47.910 —> 00:00:52.410 We don’t know, though, at this time if it is connected. 00:00:52.410 —> 00:00:55.620 That white van should be considered a van of interest 00:00:55.620 —> 00:00:57.510 at this point. 00:00:57.510 —> 00:01:01.230 Again, detectives looking at multiple locations, 00:01:01.230 —> 00:01:02.760 multiple clues, 00:01:02.760 —> 00:01:04.554 and I know how hard they’re working.

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Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:57 a.m. ET

Sheriff Luna said investigators believed the suspect was between 30 and 50 years old, and said officials hoped to provide a more concrete description in the coming hours. He said investigators did not know what motivated the attack. “Everything’s on the table,” he said.

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Credit...Caroline Brehman/EPA, via Shutterstock
Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:52 a.m. ET

Representative Judy Chu, the congresswoman who represents the area, said the attack “tore a hole through all of our hearts.” “It is horrible that such a thing could occur at a time of celebration," she said, adding that only hours earlier, thousands of people had been close to the shooting scene.

Isabella Kwai
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:46 a.m. ET

Henry Lo, the mayor of Monterey Park, offered condolences to the victims and their families. “It is important that we be there for them and to provide the support they need in a time of healing,” he said. He described the city as a small, diverse community that would be affected for years by the shooting.

Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:44 a.m. ET

Law enforcement officials are increasing security at Lunar New Year events across the area, Sheriff Luna said. Investigators are still trying to determine whether there is any connection between the Monterey Park shooting and another site nearby in Alhambra, where there has been a police presence this morning.

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00:00:00.000 —> 00:00:03.060 So, I also want you to know, questions 00:00:03.060 —> 00:00:04.410 that are being asked: 00:00:04.410 —> 00:00:07.050 Is this related to the other event 00:00:07.050 —> 00:00:09.660 here in the city of Monterey Park 00:00:09.660 —> 00:00:12.720 or any concerns about any other Chinese New Year 00:00:12.720 —> 00:00:14.100 events? 00:00:14.100 —> 00:00:15.250 We are working here. 00:00:15.250 —> 00:00:19.140 You see all the partners behind me, including the F.B.I. 00:00:19.140 —> 00:00:20.790 We’ve been doing threat assessments 00:00:20.790 —> 00:00:22.350 throughout the morning. 00:00:22.350 —> 00:00:23.820 Are they connected? 00:00:23.820 —> 00:00:27.540 Honestly, we don’t know the answer to that yet. 00:00:27.540 —> 00:00:29.880 It may or may not be. 00:00:29.880 —> 00:00:33.900 So, as we look at other events, we 00:00:33.900 —> 00:00:37.710 will make sure that we step up our presence 00:00:37.710 —> 00:00:40.440 from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. 00:00:40.440 —> 00:00:43.480 We will be in communication with other law enforcement agencies — 00:00:43.480 —> 00:00:46.470 we already have been — to make sure 00:00:46.470 —> 00:00:49.900 that security is a top priority at any event. 00:00:49.900 —> 00:00:52.140 And that’s not to indicate that we 00:00:52.140 —> 00:00:53.420 think there’s a threat there. 00:00:53.420 —> 00:00:56.520 We’re just taking every precaution that we can. 00:00:55.849 —> 00:01:00.309 We don’t want anybody else to get hurt.

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Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:40 a.m. ET

Sheriff Luna says the suspect remains at large after what he called a “most heinous” attack. He describes the suspect only as a “male Asian” and says law enforcement is using every resource to find him. “We need to get this person off the street as soon as possible,” the sheriff said.

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00:00:00.000 —> 00:00:03.960 There is a male suspect that fled the scene 00:00:03.960 —> 00:00:08.760 and remains outstanding as of this moment. 00:00:08.760 —> 00:00:12.000 Our very preliminary description 00:00:12.000 —> 00:00:17.060 has been described as a male Asian. 00:00:17.060 —> 00:00:21.200 And that’s from the scene here in Monterey Park. 00:00:21.200 —> 00:00:25.430 And it’s taken us a while, and please be patient with us, 00:00:25.430 —> 00:00:29.150 because as we’re interviewing victims and witnesses, 00:00:29.150 —> 00:00:33.200 we’ve gotten different descriptions of one suspect. 00:00:33.200 —> 00:00:35.300 So when I say it’s preliminary, 00:00:35.300 —> 00:00:37.824 please, again, be patient with us.

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Jack Healy
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:38 a.m. ET

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna says the call came in at 10:22 p.m. Saturday and responding officers found multiple gunshot victims. Ten people were pronounced dead at the scene and 10 others were wounded. He says their conditions range from critical to stable.

Isabella Kwai
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:27 a.m. ET

‘Shock, heartbreak and devastation’: Reactions to the mass shooting in Monterey Park.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

As Americans awoke on Sunday to news of the mass shooting in Monterey Park, local officials and prominent figures in the Asian American community reacted with anger and horror.

Some lamented the timing of the killings on the eve of Lunar New Year, the most important holiday of the year in many Asian countries.

Governor Gavin Newsom of California wrote on Twitter that the city of Monterey Park “should have had a night of joyful celebration” and instead experienced a “horrific and heartless act of gun violence.”

“Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night,” he added.

Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles said in a statement that the news from nearby Monterey Park was “devastating,” and described gun violence as a plague. “Families deserve to celebrate the holidays in peace,” she said.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” said Kenneth Mejia, the city controller of Los Angeles and the first Asian American to be elected to a citywide position there.

The local authorities investigating the Monterey Park shooting said on Sunday that they were also looking into a second incident in the nearby city of Alhambra, from which no injuries have been reported. It was unclear if the two scenes were connected.

“I am in a state of shock, heartbreak and devastation,” Mayor Sasha Renée Pérez of Alhambra said on Twitter of the shooting in Monterey Park. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones. Our community stands ready to do whatever we can to support all those impacted.”

“To have this tragedy occur on Lunar New Year weekend, makes this especially painful,” Ms. Pérez added. “This is a time when residents should be celebrating with family, friends and loved ones — not fearing gun violence.”

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 11:07 a.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Hilda Solis, a Los Angeles County supervisor whose district includes the scene of the shooting, said that the incident had followed a day of Lunar New Year festivities. “People had come from all over Southern California and beyond” to attend the celebrations, Solis said, adding that the event was known for being “very inclusive” and peaceful. “My heart is broken,” she said.

Jill Cowan
Jan. 22, 2023, 10:59 a.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

Mayor Karen Bass of Los Angeles said in a statement that the reports coming out of nearby Monterey Park are “devastating,” and described gun violence as a plague. “Families deserve to celebrate the holidays in peace,” she said.

Shawn Hubler
Jan. 22, 2023, 10:37 a.m. ET

Reporting from Sacramento

Governor Gavin Newsom of California wrote on Twitter that the city of Monterey Park “should have had a night of joyful celebration” and instead experienced a “horrific and heartless act of gun violence.” “Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night,” he added.

Glenn Thrush
Jan. 22, 2023, 10:36 a.m. ET

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland has been briefed on the mass shooting, and Justice Department personnel, including F.B.I. and A.T.F. investigators, are on the scene, according to officials. The F.B.I and A.T.F. agents are assisting local authorities in the early stages of the investigation, but they typically also collect information to determine if federal charges, such as civil rights or gun violations, might be pursued later.

Jan. 22, 2023, 10:31 a.m. ET

The list of U.S. mass shootings continues to grow.

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Credit...Carlos Bernate for The New York Times

The mass shooting that left at least seven people dead in Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Tuesday was the second mass shooting in the state in three days.

A suspect is in custody and is cooperating with investigators, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office

There is no consensus on what constitutes a mass shooting, complicating the efforts of government, nonprofits and news organizations to document the scope of the problem. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group, defines a mass shooting as involving at least four people killed or injured.

By that measure, there have been at least 38 mass shootings so far in 2023, according to the group. It counted 648 mass shootings last year, 21 of which involved five or more fatalities.

Here is a partial list of recent mass shootings in the United States:

Jan. 21: Monterey Park, Calif.

At least 11 people were killed in Monterey Park, a small community east of Los Angeles, when a gunman opened fire at a ballroom frequented by Chinese American dancers. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, last May, when 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Jan. 16: Goshen, Calif.

Gunmen killed six people, including a 16-year-old and her 10-month-old child, in a shooting that the police said was probably gang-related.

Nov. 22: Chesapeake, Va.

A Walmart employee opened fire in a break room as the store was preparing to close for the night, killing six people, the authorities said. The gunman was found dead, apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to the police.

Nov. 20: Colorado Springs

Five people were killed and 17 wounded by gunfire in a shooting at an L.G.B.T.Q. nightclub. The gunman was hurt and taken to a hospital.

Nov. 13: Charlottesville, Va.

Three University of Virginia students, all members of the football team, were killed and two were wounded when a gunman, a former player, opened fire in a garage after a field trip to see a play in Washington.

Oct. 13: Raleigh, N.C.

A gunman, described by the authorities only as a “white male juvenile,” killed five people, including an off-duty police officer, and wounded two others. The attacks drew a large response from law enforcement agencies to the residential area near the Neuse River Greenway, a popular bike trail for Raleigh residents.

Sept. 7: Memphis, Tenn.

Memphis was effectively closed down during an hourslong manhunt for a 19-year-old gunman who killed four people while streaming some of the violence on Facebook Live. The violence involved several shootings and carjackings over the course of the day.

July 4: Highland Park, Ill.

Seven people were killed and dozens more wounded when a gunman opened fire from the roof of a building in Highland Park, a suburb north of Chicago, during a Fourth of July parade. A 21-year-old was taken into custody several hours later.

Isabella Kwai
Jan. 22, 2023, 9:31 a.m. ET

The residents of Monterey Park are predominantly Asian American.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

The shooting in Monterey Park took place on the eve of the Lunar New Year, the most important holiday in many Asian countries, and has shocked a city that has celebrated milestones for the Asian American community in California.

The authorities said on Sunday morning that the motive for the shooting was still unknown. Until now, Monterey Park, sometimes called “the first suburban Chinatown,” was perhaps best known as the first city in the continental United States where a majority of inhabitants have ethnically Asian ancestry.

The city, with a population of around 60,000 people, is around 65 percent Asian American and 27 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to government data.

From the 1960s, large numbers of migrants from Taiwan, mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and Vietnam settled in Monterey Park, many of them affluent.

On Saturday before the shooting, the mood was one of celebration on Garvey Avenue. An array of Asian-owned businesses, restaurants and stalls heralded the eve of the Lunar New Year, one of the biggest festivals that marks the holiday in California. Families in the typically quiet neighborhood were out until the festival closed at about 9 p.m. local time.

“As we celebrate the Year of the Rabbit, this occasion holds special significance,” Representative Judy Chu of California said in a speech at the festival earlier on Saturday, pointing to the challenges the community had overcome during the Covid pandemic.

“Because, just like the rabbit, when we face obstacles, we will continue to run. Nothing will stop us as we look toward a better future,” Ms. Chu said.

The police say the shooting began about an hour and a half after the festival closed.