Police in California Ask: ‘What Drove a Madman to Do This?’

Investigators continue to seek a motive in the shooting at a ballroom in Monterey Park as new details emerge about the gunman, who frequented the venue. Another victim has died, bringing the toll to 11.

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More carnage was averted at a second ballroom. Here’s the latest.

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Investigators said late Monday that they continued to seek a motive for what officials called the deadliest mass shooting in Los Angeles County’s history, as another victim of the massacre at a popular Southern California ballroom succumbed to wounds, bringing the death toll to 11. The rampage in a thriving Chinese American suburb was followed by a thwarted attack at another nearby dance hall and a daylong manhunt that ended Sunday with the suspected gunman dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Here are the details:

  • Officials have publicly identified four of the 11 slain victims, and said they were waiting until relatives were notified to identify the others. Five were women, including My Nhan, 65; Lilan Li, 63; and Xiujuan Yu, 57, along with two other women in their 60s. Only one of the men killed has been named: Valentino Alvero, 68. Of the other four, three were in their 70s and one was in his 60s.

  • The Los Angeles County sheriff, Robert Luna, said that investigators were looking “diligently” into suggestions that the gunman, identified by the police as Huu Can Tran, 72, had been motivated by “jealousy or some relationship issues,” but that no such motivation had been confirmed. “What drove a madman to do this? We don’t know,” the sheriff said. Here is what we know about the suspected gunman.

  • A law enforcement official briefed on the matter said that the gunman may have specifically targeted some of those killed, and that others were shot randomly. Mr. Tran had recently visited the police station in Hemet, a town in Riverside County where he was living in a mobile park, to say that his family was poisoning him, the official said. Here’s how the police in Torrance found his van.

  • The Los Angeles County supervisor, Janice Hahn, called the shooting “the worst mass shooting in L.A. County’s history.” Sheriff Luna said that 42 rounds had been fired in the attack at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, and that a search of the suspect’s home had found a rifle and equipment that led them to believe he was making firearm suppressors. Here are more details about what the police found when investigating him.

  • The gunman tried to carry out a second attack in neighboring Alhambra late Saturday, officials said, but was disarmed by a dance hall employee whom the sheriff called “a brave man.” Brandon Tsay, 26, said he wrestled a weapon out of the suspect’s hands; officials later identified it as a semiautomatic MAC-10 assault weapon. Read our interview with Mr. Tsay.

Jan. 23, 2023, 9:00 p.m. ET

The Chinese consulate-general in Los Angeles said in a statement that at least one Chinese national was among the 11 people killed in the Monterey Park shooting. The statement, posted on Monday evening, said the consulate had “expressed condolences to local Chinese American communities” and “will work with authorities in both China and the United States to deal with the aftermath.”

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 8:56 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

A 73-year-old woman who was wounded in the Monterey Park shooting and had been admitted to the hospital was discharged on Monday afternoon, said Jorge Orozco, the chief executive of LAC+USC Medical Center, adding, “Our teams continue to work around the clock to care for the remaining two victims receiving treatment at LAC+USC, and we remain hopeful for their recoveries.”

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

Jan. 23, 2023, 8:37 p.m. ET

Some victims saw the ballroom as a place of refuge. Here’s what we know about them.

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Officials were still releasing the names of the 11 people killed when a gunman opened fire on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif.CreditCredit...Ryan Young for The New York Times

LOS ANGELES — In the more than two decades since they left China and landed in the vast Southern California suburbs, Jeff and Nancy Liu did almost everything together. That’s where they were on Saturday night as a gunman opened fire on the ballroom dance floor where they were celebrating the new year and enjoying one of their favorite pastimes.

On Monday, with her 62-year-old father recovering from gunshot wounds and the whereabouts of her 63-year-old mother uncertain, Juno Blees, the Lius’ daughter, finally got the news she had been dreading. Her mother had been one of at least 11 people killed when what had been a dreamy refuge for hundreds of immigrants exploded into yet another spasm of American mass violence.

It was not unusual for people like the Lius to spend large parts of their days and weeks at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif., where the shooting happened, taking private and group lessons, singing karaoke in the back room and socializing in the evenings, said David DuVal, 53, who has taught at the studio for a decade.

“Before the pandemic they had parties every night, it’s kind of like you go get your exercise, they would play music and you can hang out and dance,” Mr. DuVal said. Although many people would show up as dance couples, there were also often students who needed a partner and who would hire one of their instructors or another dancer for the night. It was common for more than 100 people to show up, Mr. DuVal said.

Sometimes evenings would be formal affairs where students would perform in showcases, displaying what they had learned in class. Instructors preparing for competition would use the willing audience for a dress rehearsal.

At one point, there was a competition between the owners of Star Ballroom and another nearby dance hall, Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, over party attendance and instructors, said Mr. DuVal. But that didn’t stop students and teachers from frequenting both places, nor did it break up friendships in the community.

Like Southern California, the scene is diverse: Regulars said classes were typically raucous with conversations and music in English, Cantonese and Mandarin, as dancers born in the Philippines, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong bonded with instructors, many of whom were born in Europe.

“In Los Angeles, but maybe in this country, it would be the Asian American communities that have kept ballroom dancing alive,” Kristina Hayes, a Los Angeles dance instructor, said.

Some enter competitions, instructors say, but most are there simply to learn the rumba, cha-cha, tango, waltz, salsa or fox trot. For many, the studios offer an opportunity to learn an elite skill that may have intrigued them in their youth, but for which they could never find the time or money.

Laura Nix, a Los Angeles-based director, spent seven years immersed in the culture at Lai Lai while filming an Oscar-nominated short documentary on a local Chinese Vietnamese couple, one an accountant, the other an engineer, who rediscovered each other and themselves through ballroom dancing.

“When you watch people dance there and at places like Star Dance, you see the purest expression of a tight-knit community, and people embracing life — that’s one reason why the violence directed at their patrons is so devastating,” she said.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has identified four of the victims of the shooting. The coroner’s office is waiting until relatives have been notified to identify the rest.

Six women were killed, including My Nhan, 65, Lilan Li, 63, and Xiujuan Yu, who at 57 is the youngest . Two other women in their 60s also died. Only one of the male victims was identified, Valentino Alvero, 68. Three still-unidentified men who were killed were in their 70s and one was in his 60s.

Investigators are still sifting through the aftermath of the deadliest mass shooting since last May, when 19 children and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas. But as the victims have been identified, they have brought into relief at least one piece of the picture.

Men and women in late middle age or older, nearly all were denizens of the flourishing ballroom dance culture that has arisen in Southern California, revived by immigrants who have found a fresh passion in the competitive art form.

The family of Ms. Nhan, in a statement, remembered her “warm smile,” and her support (“Mymy was our biggest cheerleader”), for example, but also her passion for ballroom dancing.

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Credit...Fonda Quan, via Associated Press

Also dead, according to his family, was Ming Wei Ma, the studio’s older manager and popular co-owner, whose friends and family similarly associated him with the ballroom.

Heather Smith, a former U.S. ballroom dance champion who coached dancers twice a month at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, recalled him as a beloved figure in the area’s passionate community of dancers. When she taught group classes, she said, Mr. Ma would join in and take pictures, proud of the diversity of the studio’s instructors.

“Every time I went there,” she said, “Mr. Ma would hug me and say, ‘Champion in the house!’”

Star Ballroom and Lai Lai, where the gunman was disarmed by the owner’s grandson before fleeing, are less than three miles apart, with rosters of longstanding, first-generation Asian American students.

Peter Phung, 58, and Tiffany Phung, 55, a married couple live close to the Star Dance Studio and have known Mr. Ma for years. On Monday, they stood outside the studio to pay their respects to the victims of the shooting. Mrs. Phung said she had been texting with a friend who she found out was pronounced dead on Sunday night.

They described Mr. Ma as a kind of community impresario, recruiting dancers to the studio, hosting karaoke nights and staging performances.

Mrs. Phung danced in the revues, some of which were themed for holidays, while Mr. Phung sang Chinese love songs, like “We Are Different.”

Mrs. Phung remembered that Mr. Ma spotted her as she headed to modeling classes nearby.

“He’d say, ‘Beautiful girl, why don’t you take dance classes?’” Ms. Phung recalled with a laugh. A couple of years ago, she obliged. Recently, she started taking Latin dance classes on Friday nights with a female instructor, “because I don’t want my husband jealous,” she said.

Elizabeth Yang, 40, said the club has become a “generational” experience. “My mom used to take dance lessons there when she was younger,” she said. “I started dancing there last year, and then I brought my daughter.”

She added: “I’m planning on bringing my daughter back. I’m not going to stay away.”

Jill Cowan, Edgar Sandoval and David W. Chen contributed reporting. Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 8:02 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Recovered weapons, ammunition, clothing: Here’s what police found when investigating the suspect.

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Credit...Ryan Young for The New York Times

Law enforcement officials on Monday said they were trying to piece together a timeline and motive for the Monterey Park massacre through items they had recovered from the crime scene and from the home and van of the suspected gunman.

Investigators who searched the suspect’s home in Hemet on Sunday recovered a .308 caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, cellphones and computers, as well as items that suggested that he was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors, according to the Los Angeles County sheriff, Robert Luna.

At the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, where the gunman killed 11 people and wounded at least nine more late Saturday night, investigators recovered 42 shell casings and a large capacity magazine. The gunman appeared to have fired 42 rounds, Sheriff Luna said.

Sheriff Luna said that his investigators were still trying to uncover whether the attack was planned, and if so, how far in advance and why. “This is disturbing,” he said. “How can you even come to reason that somebody would think about doing something like this? It’s horrendous.”

Inside a van that law enforcement officers encircled on Sunday in Torrance, in which the gunman’s body was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, investigators found a Norinco 7.62x25 handgun, which was registered to the suspect, Sheriff Luna said. Law enforcement officials also found the clothing the suspect had worn during the shooting in Monterey Park.

The firearm that was wrestled away from the suspect in the Alhambra dance hall was a semi-automatic MAC-10 assault weapon, he said. That gun appeared to have been modified, but Sheriff Luna did not say whether possessing the weapon was illegal or provide additional details. “It’s part of the puzzle we’re trying to put together,” he said.

Kellen Browning
Jan. 23, 2023, 7:38 p.m. ET

Police officers in Torrance were following the suspect when he pulled off the road and killed himself.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

TORRANCE, Calif. — Police officers in Torrance, Calif., were on high alert Sunday morning, after the Los Angeles County sheriff’s office told them to scan the streets for a white van linked to the fatal shootings of 11 people across town the night before.

So when patrol officers spotted a cargo van matching the description of the shooting suspect’s vehicle, driving near a swath of strip malls, they ran its plates.

The license plate did not match the number they were looking for. But it also didn’t match the plate for the vehicle the officers were looking at: According to their data, it should have had windows in the back. The van they were following did not.

“They knew there was a problem,” said Michael Smith, a spokesman for the city of Torrance.

So officers pulled up behind the van and prepared to conduct a traffic stop. But before they could hit the sirens, the driver turned into a parking lot, said Ron Salary, a spokesman for the city’s police department. Officers were approaching the parked van on foot when they heard and saw “evidence” of a gunshot, he said.

In the ensuing minutes, Mr. Salary said, the officers — who did not immediately know that the suspect in the Monterey Park massacre, later identified by the sheriff’s department as Huu Can Tran, 72, had fatally shot himself — established a wide perimeter around the van, encompassing several strip malls and shutting down city streets.

“That’s the reason you have a huge blocked-off area: You know there’s a gun in there, and it can shoot from a huge distance,” Mr. Salary said.

After repeated commands over a loudspeaker for the driver to roll down his window, a SWAT team broke into the vehicle on Sunday afternoon and confirmed that the suspect was dead. Los Angeles County officials praised the Torrance officers for their quick thinking, which brought the regionwide manhunt to an end.

Jan. 23, 2023, 6:57 p.m. ET

The authorities are asking why the gunman attacked a venue he once enjoyed.

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A makeshift memorial outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio where 11 people were killed in Monterey Park, Calif.Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — On Monday, the police tape had been taken down and the parking lot outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park had become an achingly familiar scene in a nation where mass gun violence is a constant drumbeat. News trucks and cameras were clustered near the brick-lined entrance to the studio as community members and mourners left flowers and candles.

The grieving families were struggling with news from the coroner about loved ones lost in a massacre at the popular dance hall that killed 11. At the same time, investigators were looking into whether Huu Can Tran, the 72-year-old suspect, was driven by personal animosities when he entered a place he knew so well and began shooting on Saturday night.

The authorities did not specify a motive on Monday, but as investigators continued interviewing witnesses, they were focusing on the theory that Mr. Tran had gone to the studio to target specific people, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter. Some of those killed or wounded were likely people he knew, while others could have been shot randomly, according to the official who requested anonymity to discuss the early stages of the investigation.

Detectives are focusing on the theory that Mr. Tran was “looking out for specific people for a specific reason,” the official said. The gunman killed himself on Sunday as the police approached his white van after a long manhunt in Southern California.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
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The Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance Studio in Alhambra, Calif., on Monday.Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Investigators are also examining whether Mr. Tran visited a second location, the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, in search of people he wasn’t able to find at the Star, the official said. The two studios draw from the same cohort of dance enthusiasts, most of them middle-class immigrants from Asia, and investigators believe some people visited both dance halls on Saturday night. The attacks immediately halted Lunar New Year celebrations this weekend in Monterey Park, an Asian American enclave east of Los Angeles.

Mr. Tran had recently visited the police station in the city of Hemet — where Mr. Tran was living in a mobile home park, roughly 80 miles east of Monterey Park — to say that his family was poisoning him and orchestrating a scam to steal money from him, said Alan Reyes, the spokesman for the Hemet Police Department. He said Mr. Tran had visited twice to make the allegations — on Jan. 7 and Jan. 9 — and was told to come back with evidence. He never returned.

Police searched Mr. Tran’s home on Sunday and seized a rifle, several electronic devices, a large amount of ammunition and items that led detectives to believe he was manufacturing firearm silencers, Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County said on Monday. The sheriff also said that Mr. Tran was arrested in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Sheriff Luna said investigators were still trying to determine the motive, and that they were looking into the possibility Mr. Tran was motivated by personal animosities or jealousy. He said it remained unclear if Mr. Tran had connections to the victims. “We’re hearing there were possible relationships there, but I’m not going to confirm that yet,” he said.

Mr. Tran, who was born in Vietnam, according to an immigration document, appears to have emigrated to the United States in the late 1980s. He was naturalized in 1990 or 1991, according to the document. Mr. Tran was married in June 2001 and divorced in May 2006, according to court records.

Mr. Tran several years ago had been a frequent presence at the dance studio where the killings occurred and often clashed with people there, nursing grievances that lasted for years, according to a man who once befriended him and joined him some nights at the Star Ballroom.

“I was surprised,” the man, Adam Hood, said, describing his reaction when he heard of the massacre. “But in the same token, I was not surprised. I was surprised, you know, this is such a horrible massacre, that someone would have done this. When I say I’m not surprised, because if I know him well enough, this would have happened sooner or later.”

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

Mr. Hood said that he rented a small house for seven or eight years in nearby San Gabriel from Mr. Tran, who also lived on the property in a “free-standing cabin” in the back. When Mr. Hood moved out, around 2014, he wound up suing Mr. Tran in an effort to recover his security deposit.

Mr. Hood said that Mr. Tran found work cleaning carpets at local restaurants and was a frequent patron of both dance studios, where he frequently became enmeshed in disputes with other patrons and dance instructors. He said Mr. Tran was a volunteer instructor, offering dance lessons for free.

Mr. Tran often complained about other instructors and would often boast that he danced better than them, his former tenant recalled. “When he came back, many times he would complain about this instructor or that instructor, or this boss or that boss,” Mr. Hood said. “He kept complaining. He just didn’t have friends there.”

Mr. Tran lived in a mobile home park for residents aged 55 and over, called the Lakes at Hemet West, located across the street from an agricultural field and a shopping center. Television crews had set up beyond the residential area on Monday, and reporters were kept outside by a security guard. Dee Costello, a neighbor of Mr. Tran’s, said she often saw him riding a bicycle or motorcycle, and regarded him as easygoing and someone who largely kept to himself.

On Sunday evening, neighbors watched detectives search Mr. Tran’s residence, while a helicopter hovered overhead.

The killings in Monterey Park were the worst mass shooting in America since the massacre last year at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, that claimed the lives of 19 schoolchildren and two teachers. As horrifying as the attack was in Monterey Park, it could have been even worse, as authorities say Mr. Tran planned to kill more people at the second dance studio in nearby Alhambra.

About 20 minutes after leaving the Star Ballroom, Mr. Tran emerged at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, the authorities said. He was confronted by Brandon Tsay, who was in the office of the ballroom that his family owns. After struggling with the gunman, Mr. Tsay was able to wrest the weapon away from him, saving an untold number of lives.

“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm,” Mr. Tsay said in an interview at his home in San Marino on Sunday night. “His eyes were menacing.”

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times
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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

Adele Andrade-Stadler, the mayor of Alhambra, said she was told by patrons of the dance studios that they knew of Mr. Tran and that he was a volunteer at the ballrooms. Ms. Andrade-Stadler said she had spent Monday weighing whether to go forward with her community’s Lunar New Year celebration and decided to proceed after learning that Mr. Tran was dead and being assured there were no ongoing threats to such gatherings.

Sheriff Luna on Monday said Mr. Tran fired 42 rounds at the Star Ballroom from a MAC-10, which he previously described as a magazine-fed semiautomatic pistol with an extended capacity magazine. He said the gun was likely not legal in California.

Separately, a law enforcement official on Monday said investigators believe the suspect purchased it out of state, likely in Nevada, but they were still looking at the possibility he acquired it illegally in California.

Authorities recovered two weapons on Sunday: the semiautomatic weapon used in the shooting, and the handgun the suspect used to kill himself in the van, after a dramatic manhunt whose last moments were broadcast live on television from a helicopter video feed, as a SWAT team approached the vehicle in a parking lot in Torrance, about two dozen miles south of Monterey Park. “Straight out of a movie is the best way to describe it,” a news anchor for Spectrum News 1 told viewers.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
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California, because of its size, tends to have more mass shootings than other states, despite its strict gun laws; last year, only Illinois and Texas had more than California’s total of 49, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence and defines a mass shooting as four or more people being shot or killed.

As Monterey Park grieved on Monday, a familiar American pattern of recriminations and anguish played out, just like it has in countless other communities upended by gun violence. Politicians called for stricter gun laws. Community members planned vigils. Many offered prayers and flowers.

Gavin Newsom, the governor of California, stood outside a tea and herb shop across the street from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Monday morning and spoke to reporters, inveighing against an unwillingness at the federal level to enact meaningful gun control. He blamed conservative media and the gun industry for drumming up hate and fear. “Rinse and repeat,” he said, referring to the deadly shooting in Uvalde, and the others that have occurred since.

Victoria Kim contributed reporting from Monterey Park, and Vik Jolly from Hemet. Reporting was also contributed by Soumya Karlamangla and Shawn Hubler. Susan C. Beachy contributed research.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:45 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

It remains unclear if the suspected shooter had connections to the victims who were killed at the dance studio, Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County said in a news conference on Monday afternoon. “We’re hearing there were possible relationships there, but I'm not going to confirm that yet.”

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:40 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Law enforcement officials said that one person was found dead outside the dance studio in a car on Saturday night. It is likely that the victim was killed by the gunman on his way into the building, Sheriff Robert Luna said.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:33 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

"We do not have a motive yet," Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County said in a news conference. "We want to know as much as all of you, and we're working very hard to attain that."

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:35 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Sheriff Luna said he had heard speculation that the gunman had been motivated by “jealousy or some relationship issues,” but it remains unclear. “We’re hearing those things too but have not confirmed any of that information. It’s part of what our investigators are diligently looking into.”

Jill Cowan
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:25 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

Supervisor Janice Hahn of Los Angeles County called the massacre at the dance hall “the worst mass shooting in L.A. County’s history.”

Jill Cowan
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:23 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

Officials are describing Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the gunman at a second dance studio, as a hero who saved uncounted lives. “What a brave man he is,” said Sheriff Robert Luna. Read his interview with my colleague, Victoria Kim.

Jill Cowan
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:21 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

Supervisor Hilda Solís of Los Angeles County, who represents the area where the shooting occurred, said that she spoke with two survivors of the massacre at the hospital on Monday. One, she said, will be released later today. The other would be released “in time.” She added, “You could see in their faces their spirit to fight.”

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:19 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Forty-two rounds were fired at the dance hall in Monterey Park, Sheriff Luna said in a news conference. The weapon wrestled away from the suspect at a second dance hall in Alhambra before he could open fire was a semi-automatic assault weapon, he said.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:15 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

The suspected gunman was arrested in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm, Sheriff Luna said.

Timothy Arango
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:15 p.m. ET

Reporting from Los Angeles

Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County said officers served a search warrant on the suspected gunman's home in Hemet, Calif., on Sunday and recovered a rifle, numerous electronic devices and items that he said led detectives to believe that the suspect was manufacturing firearm suppressors.

Edgar Sandoval
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:05 p.m. ET

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office on Monday afternoon identified two more victims of the shooting at a dance hall in Monterey Park, Calif. A woman in her 70s died at a hospital on Monday, bringing the death toll to 11. Earlier today, the office identified My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63. This afternoon they named Xiujuan Yu, who at 57 is the youngest victim. Only one of the male victims has been named: Valentino Alvero, 68. The coroner’s office is waiting until relatives have been notified to identify the remaining victims.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 4:06 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Chief Scott Wiese of the Monterey Park Police said that law enforcement officials are still trying to understand the gunman’s motives. “I think we all want to find out why,” he said in a news briefing on Monday. “The why is a big part of this. The problem is, we may never know the why.”

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 4:08 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Chief Wiese said that his officers who responded to the shooting at the dance hall on Saturday night had later met with a counseling team, then were sent home. “They weren’t emotionally ready to come back,” he said.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:57 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

At a news conference, Supervisor Hilda Solis of Los Angeles County praised the 26-year-old who wrested a pistol from the gunman’s hands at a second dance hall, preventing further killings. “That young man is a hero,” Solis said.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:55 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

Senator Alex Padilla, Democrat of California, called for stricter gun laws in a news conference with other elected officials in Monterey Park, criticizing a patchwork of firearm regulations across the country. “This is a reminder that more needs to be done,” he said.

Shawn HublerSoumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:53 p.m. ET

Is the semiautomatic gun from the Monterey Park shooting banned in California? It depends.

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Credit...Ryan Young for The New York Times

At least two weapons have been recovered by the authorities after the Monterey Park shootings — the semiautomatic firearm that killed 10 people and wounded 10 more in a popular ballroom, and the handgun that the suspected gunman used to kill himself.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff, Robert Luna, said it appeared likely that at least one of the guns — the semiautomatic pistol, which was outfitted with an extended large-capacity magazine — was illegal for him to have in California. But legal experts say that it would depend largely on when the suspected gunman, Huu Can Tran, obtained it, and how.

“Most semi-auto pistols are not illegal to possess,” C.D. Michel, a California lawyer specializing in gun rights, wrote in an email on Sunday, “but depending on make and model, it may not have been legal to buy,” unless it was on a roster of approved handguns.

Similarly, Mr. Michel said, it is now illegal in California to buy a magazine that can hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition, but it may be legal to possess one if it was bought before 2000, or during a brief period in 2019 when the ban was not in effect because of a federal court injunction.

Ari Freilich, the state policy director for the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, said that “it appears probable” that both the semiautomatic pistol and its large-capacity magazine were illegal to acquire in California, and “possibly also illegal to possess.”

But he noted, “there are multiple caveats.”

California, because of its size, tends to have more mass shootings than other states; last year, only Illinois and Texas had more than California’s total of 49, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks gun violence and defines a mass shooting as four or more people being shot or killed.

The state’s strict gun laws, though, have contributed to California having one of the lowest rates of firearm mortality in the nation, experts say; there were 8.5 gun deaths for every 100,000 people in California in 2020, the latest year for which complete figures are available, compared with 13.7 per 100,000 nationally that year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Various bans on assault-style weapons, which are intended to enable high volumes of rapid fire at many targets, as in combat, have been enacted in California since 1989.

But gun rights advocates have vigorously challenged those and other California gun laws, and in some high-profile cases, federal courts have ruled in the gun rights advocates’ favor. Restrictions on large-capacity magazines, which hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition and are used in many mass shootings, have been litigated in federal court for decades.

In 2017, Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California — who has frequently ruled in favor of gun rights — blocked a new California law that would have banned the possession of magazines that held more than 10 rounds. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit eventually upheld California’s ban in a split decision, but last year, the case was sent back to the lower courts for reconsideration after a major Supreme Court decision that greatly expanded gun rights.

Restrictions on selling and acquiring large-capacity magazines remain in effect in California, Mr. Freilich said, but bans on possession have not. On average, he wrote in an email, mass shootings that involve large-capacity magazines “result in nearly five times as many people shot,” compared with shootings using smaller magazines.

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:52 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

In a press briefing in Monterey Park on Monday afternoon, Representative Judy Chu, Democrat of California, said she had spoken to President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, who “expressed their condolences for what happened, and will be expressing their condolences to the victims.”

Soumya Karlamangla
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:10 p.m. ET

Reporting from San Francisco

One of the people hospitalized after being shot in Monterey Park, Calif., late Saturday has died from “extensive injuries,” bringing the death toll to 11, officials from LAC+USC Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles said on Monday. Three other victims are being treated there, with one in serious condition.“Our medical teams are working around the clock to care for them, and we remain hopeful for their complete recoveries,” the hospital said in a statement.

Jill Cowan
Jan. 23, 2023, 2:54 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California stood outside a tea and herbal shop across the street from Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Monday morning and spoke to reporters, inveighing against an unwillingess at the federal level to implement meaningful gun control. He blamed conservative media and the gun industry for drumming up hate and fear. “Rinse and repeat,” he said, invoking the memories of the deadly shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and others.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times
Jill Cowan
Jan. 23, 2023, 2:37 p.m. ET

Reporting from Monterey Park, Calif.

On Monday morning, police tape had been taken down outside Star Ballroom Dance Studio, and its parking lot had become a scene that is now achingly familiar in a nation where mass gun violence is a constant drumbeat. News trucks and camera crews clustered around the brick-lined entrance to the studio, where community members and mourners left flowers and candles to memorialize the victims.

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Credit...Ryan Young for The New York Times
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Credit...Ryan Young for The New York Times
Timothy Arango
Jan. 23, 2023, 1:02 p.m. ET

Reporting from Los Angeles

Huu Can Tran, the suspected gunman in the Monterey Park shooting, had recently visited the police station in Hemet, a town in Riverside County where he was living in a mobile park, to say that his family was poisoning him, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the matter.

Timothy Arango
Jan. 23, 2023, 1:03 p.m. ET

Reporting from Los Angeles

As investigators continue to interview witnesses on Monday, they believe that Tran, who killed himself as the police closed in on Sunday afternoon, had specifically targeted some of the people who were killed, and that others slain in the massacre were killed randomly, the law enforcement official said.

Edgar Sandoval
Jan. 23, 2023, 12:33 p.m. ET

Tiffany Liou, a reporter at a Dallas television station, said on Monday that her husband's aunt was one of the slain victims identified by the Los Angeles County coroner. My Nhan, 65, known to her family as Mymy, was the first person shot and killed at the ballroom in Monterey Park, Calif., Liou said. “We never imagined her life would end so suddenly," the family said in a statement posted to Twitter, adding, "Mymy was our biggest cheerleader."

Edgar Sandoval
Jan. 23, 2023, 10:40 a.m. ET

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has identified two of the 10 victims of the shooting at a dance hall in Monterey Park, Calif., and is waiting until relatives have been notified to identify the others. Five women were killed, including My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63, along with two other women in their 60s and one in her 50s. Of the five men killed, three were in their 70s and two in their 60s.

Jin Yu Young
Jan. 23, 2023, 7:44 a.m. ET

The suspects’ ages stand out among mass shooters.

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Credit...Alisha Jucevic for The New York Times

The gunmen in the shootings on Monday afternoon in Half Moon Bay, Calif., and Saturday night in Monterey Park, Calif., were identified by local authorities as 67- and 72-year-old men. Their ages are rare among the country’s lengthening list of mass killers, who tend to be much younger.

The median age of gunmen in mass shootings in the United States over the past six decades is 32, according to the Violence Project, a nonprofit research center funded by the National Institute of Justice. As of 2020, there has been only one other mass shooter over the age of 70.

Mass shooters tend to “target locations that are representative of the grievances that they have,” says James Densley, the co-founder of the Violence Project and a professor of the School of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice at Metro State University in Minnesota. He added that mass shooters in school settings are often students. The Uvalde and Sandy Hook shootings were carried out by former students of the respective schools.

Monterey Park is a predominantly Asian and Asian American community. Several of the victims in Saturday’s shootings were in their 50s and 60s. The victims of Monday’s shooting have not yet been identified.

While the average age of a mass shooter is in the early 30s, there are clusters who carry out shooting sprees while in their 20s and 40s, a reflection of how these attackers may be in “transitional times” in which “you feel like you don’t fit in, and violence follows,” said Professor Densley. He called the gunman in Monterey Park an “outlier” in terms of his age.

The overwhelming majority of mass shooters in the Violence Project report were men. This likely reflects the social pressure on males to “be stronger, tougher and have the final word, with that final word sometimes being violence,” said Vickie Jensen, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Justice Studies at California State University, Northridge.

Social media has been cited as a factor in recent shootings by young men, including the attacks in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, reflecting “a problem that intersects with the distribution and the reinforcement of the rigid and hegemonic idea of toxic masculinity,” Professor Jensen said. This was not an issue several decades ago.

There have been a few mass shootings in the United States in which the shooter was over 60 years old.

In one of the largest, the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas that left 58 dead, the shooter, Stephen Paddock, was 64. A former postal worker and tax auditor, Mr. Paddock’s mental and physical health had been deteriorating in the months leading up to the shooting.

 Jin Yu Young
Jan. 23, 2023, 6:43 a.m. ET

Officials said the Langley Senior Center in Monterey Park will serve as a resource center on Monday to offer mental health support for witnesses and victims of Saturday’s shooting. The center will also be a reunification venue for victims and family members.

Jan. 23, 2023, 5:55 a.m. ET

Monterey Park transformed the Chinese American experience.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

There are few places in the United States that hold greater significance to the Chinese American community than Monterey Park, Calif.

Known as the first suburban Chinatown, the city owes its changes to the late Chinese American real estate developer Fred Hsieh, who promoted the community about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles as the “Chinese Beverly Hills.”

His vision would ignite a demographic transformation starting in the 1970s as Monterey Park and the neighboring city of Alhambra welcomed more and more middle-class ethnic Chinese residents from both home and abroad. In 1983, the city made history by naming its first Chinese American female mayor, Lily Lee Chen.

Ms. Chen opposed xenophobia and led a fight against an English language-only movement in the city, which was driven by residents who were upset about the cultural changes sweeping their community. The tension would last decades, and bids to impose “modern Latin lettering” on city signage were the source of contentious disputes as recently as 2013.

The resistance had little effect. By the 1990s, Monterey Park had all but replaced Los Angeles’s Chinatown as the metropolitan area’s prime destination for authentic Chinese food. The biggest Asian supermarkets began sprouting up, stocked with the freshest produce and dominated by ethnic Chinese entrepreneurs from Vietnam. Schools in the area also grappled with massive changes to their student bodies as Chinese families demanded greater emphasis on academics, leading to the demise of activities such as football programs.

Delegations from China and Taiwan made a point of visiting Monterey Park on trips to Los Angeles. City Council members who had no background in international relations received crash courses in managing the two sides, learning to avoid mentioning the Taiwan Strait and to seat Taiwanese and Chinese delegates equidistant to the mayor at official banquets to assure that neither camp felt disrespected.

Monterey Park’s development mirrored the changes taking place thousands of miles away in Asia. While many of the first ethnic Chinese residents in the city came from Hong Kong and Taiwan, it would increasingly take in arrivals from mainland China starting around 2000 as the world’s most populous country experienced historic economic growth.

Trade between the United States and China compelled more wealthy Chinese immigrants to plant roots in the city, but it also made it a destination for undocumented immigrants, who were funneled into jobs in the suburb’s many restaurants, nail salons and massage parlors.

Eventually, Monterey Park would adopt some of the traits of a working-class urban Chinatown. Employment agencies offering minimum-wage jobs increasingly lined one of its main thoroughfares, Garvey Avenue. The city would also become home to a growing number of illegal boarding houses for undocumented immigrants. By then, many middle and upper middle-class ethnic Chinese had skipped Monterey Park and moved farther east in the San Gabriel Valley to fill homes and mansions in communities such as Arcadia and Walnut.

Victoria Kim
Jan. 23, 2023, 3:23 a.m. ET

A 26-year-old coder wrested an assault pistol from the gunman’s hands, preventing a greater tragedy.

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Credit...Mark Abramson for The New York Times

SAN MARINO, Calif. — Saturday night was winding down at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, with less than a half-hour to go until closing. There were three people left on the spacious dance floor.

Brandon Tsay, the third-generation operator of the family-run dance hall in Alhambra, was in the office off the lobby, watching the ballroom, when he heard the front doors swing closed and a strange clang that sounded like metallic objects hitting one another.

He turned around to see a semiautomatic assault pistol pointed at him.

“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing,” recalled Mr. Tsay, 26, at his family’s San Marino home Sunday, less than 24 hours after he stared down a gunman who, unbeknown to him, had opened fire at another nearby ballroom, killing 10 people and injuring several others in one of California’s worst mass shootings.

About 20 minutes after that massacre, the gunman, who authorities identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, arrived at Lai Lai, just about two miles to the north, officials said.

Mr. Tsay struggled with the gunman and eventually disarmed him, saving countless lives and averting another tragedy. It was an act that officials roundly praised as heroic. Mr. Tran was found dead Sunday afternoon of a self-inflicted gunshot in a van about 30 miles away, according to law enforcement officials.

Mr. Tsay said the weapon the gunman was carrying signaled he intended to inflict maximum damage.

“How it was built and customized, I knew it wasn’t for robbing money,” Mr. Tsay said of the weapon. “From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people.”

Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County said in a news briefing Sunday afternoon that “two community members” had disarmed the gunman at the Alhambra ballroom. “This could have been much worse,” he said.

But Mr. Tsay and his family, who reviewed the security camera footage from the lobby of the ballroom, said it was he alone who fought the gunman over control of the weapon and wrested it from him. The doors to the ballroom were closed and no one else was involved, they said.

“It was just my son. He could have died,” said his father, Tom Tsay, who said he was proud of his son for the bravery he showed. “He’s lucky, someone was watching over him.”

His older sister, Brenda, who currently runs the business, said the video showed a prolonged, fierce struggle between the two men all over the lobby.

“He kept coming at him, he really wanted the gun back,” she said of the gunman.

The younger Mr. Tsay, a computer coder who mans the ticket office a few days a week at the ballroom started by his grandparents, said it was around 10:35 p.m. Saturday that he turned to face the gunman, whom he didn’t recognize. He had never seen a real gun before, but could tell that it was a deadly weapon, he said.

“My heart sank, I knew I was going to die,” he said.

The next moment, he lunged and grabbed the weapon by its barrel and began wrestling with the gunman for control of it.

“That moment, it was primal instinct,” he said. “Something happened there. I don’t know what came over me.”

They fought over control of the gun for about a minute and a half, and it felt like they were similarly matched in strength, Mr. Tsay said. At one point, the gunman looked down at the weapon and took one hand off it, as if to manipulate the gun to begin shooting. Mr. Tsay said he seized the moment and pried the pistol away from the man.

He pointed the weapon back at him and yelled: “Go, get the hell out of here,” he recalled.

Mr. Tsay, who stayed up all night assisting police with their investigation, said he felt traumatized and hadn’t quite been able to process what he had been through. He particularly felt heartbroken for the community of Monterey Park and surrounding areas where his family and their ballroom had become established as a beloved haven over three decades, he said.

“Lai Lai,” a name his grandmother chose, means “come, come,” in Chinese, his sister said. The assailant, dressed in black, looked like he could easily be one of their regulars, he said.

“We have such a tight-knit community of dancers,” he said. “It feels so terrible something like this happened, to have one of our individuals try to harm others.”

Shawn Hubler contributed reporting.

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

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California met with residents of Monterey Park late on Sunday, including shop owners and emergency workers, posting updates on Twitter. He called, as he has before, for “real gun reform at a national level.” Investigators said they believe the suspect's weapon was illegal in California.

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.

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!”

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.

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.”

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.