Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

A suspected gunman is dead after killing 10 people at a dance studio in Monterey Park. Here’s the latest

Lunar New Year Massacre

A 72-year-old man found dead after a standoff with police has been confirmed as the person suspected of carrying out a deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, California on Saturday night, according to police.

He is suspected of opening fire at a dance studio, killing 10 people and injuring 10 more as the city’s large Asian American community was celebrating Lunar New Year weekend.

Here’s what we know:

  • The attack: The shooting happened at 10:22 p.m. local time (1:22 a.m. ET) at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio near a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park. Five men and five women were killed, and at least 10 others were injured. Seven of the wounded remain hospitalized.
  • The suspect: Huu Can Tran, 72, was identified as the suspect by Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. Tran was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday afternoon inside a cargo van after a standoff with police in Torrance, California. He had once been a regular presence at the dance studio, even meeting his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN. It is unclear how frequently Tran visited the dance hall, if at all, in recent years.
  • Second incident: Tran is also believed to be the gunman disarmed by a group of people at a dance studio in Alhambra, California, shortly after the mass shooting in nearby Monterey Park. Evidence found in the cargo van linked Tran to both the Alhambra and Monterey Park scenes, according to Luna, who said there are “no outstanding suspects.”
  • The investigation: Police and investigators are now working to determine the motive behind the mass shooting, according to Luna, who promised detectives would look at “every possibility.”
  • Community grieves: The massacre’s impact has already been deeply felt among one of the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the US. Members of the Monterey Park community gathered for a vigil Sunday to honor the victims.
  • National mourning: President Joe Biden offered his condolences to the victims following the mass shooting and ordered flags to fly at half-staff at the White House and other federal buildings.
  • Gun violence: As of Sunday night, there have now been at least 36 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive. CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter

 

Members of the Monterey Park community gathered for a vigil Sunday to honor the victims of the mass shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

The California city is in shock after a gunman killed 10 people and injured 10 more as the city’s large Asian American community was celebrating Lunar New Year.

Authorities say a 72-year-old man suspected of the mass shooting was found dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound after officers approached his vehicle.

Gunman had been a regular patron at dance hall he attacked, according to people who knew him

From CNN’s Jeff Winter, Casey Tolan and Scott Glover

The man who fatally shot 10 people in a Southern California dance studio had once been a regular presence at the studio, even meeting his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN.

Police say Huu Can Tran, 72, opened fire at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, on Saturday night, before fatally shooting himself after a manhunt across the region on Sunday.

His ex-wife said in an interview that she had met Tran about two decades ago at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a popular community gathering place where he gave informal lessons. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced himself, and offered her free lessons, she said.

The two married soon after they met, according to the ex-wife, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the case. While Tran was never violent to her, she said he could be quick to anger. For example, she said, if she missed a step dancing he would become upset because he felt it made him look bad. She said that after several years together, she got the impression that he had lost interest in her. Her sister, who also asked not to be named, confirmed her account.

It was unclear how frequently Tran visited the dance hall, if at all, in recent years.

Tran filed for divorce in late 2005, and a judge approved the divorce the following year, Los Angeles court records show.

Tran was an immigrant from China, according to a copy of his marriage license that his ex-wife showed to CNN.

A 5-minute drive from his home: Another long-time acquaintance of Tran’s also remembered him as a frequent presence at the dance studio. The friend, who also asked not to be named, was close to Tran in the late 2000’s and early 2010’s, when he said Tran would make the roughly 5-minute drive from his home in San Gabriel to Star Ballroom Dance Studio “almost every night.”

Tran often complained at the time that the instructors at the dance hall didn’t like him and said “evil things about him,” the friend remembered, adding that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there.”

More generally, Tran was easily irritated, complained a lot, and didn’t seem to trust people, the friend said.

 Tran at times worked as a truck driver, according to his ex-wife.

Business records show that Tran registered a business called Tran’s Trucking Inc. in California in 2002. But he dissolved the business about two years later, writing in a corporate filing that the company had never acquired any known assets or incurred any known debts or liabilities.

Bought a mobile home in Hemet: In 2013, Tran sold his San Gabriel home, which he had owned for more than two decades, property records show.

Seven years later, records show, Tran bought a mobile home in a senior citizens community in Hemet, California, an outlying suburb about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.

Tran’s friend said he hadn’t seen Tran in several years and was “totally shocked” when he heard about the shooting.

“I know lots of people, and if they go to Star Studio, they frequent there,” the friend said, adding that he was “worried maybe I know some of” the shooting victims.

Authorities are working to identify the victims of the shooting in Monterey Park, California, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.

“Please keep in mind that especially with the deceased victims, the coroner’s office retrieved the remains not that long ago. So, they’re still in the process of identifying,” Luna told reporters Sunday. “There’s a lot of work that still needs to be done to answer a lot of questions that all of us have.”

Luna said that because the victims haven’t all been identified, he couldn’t say their exact ages, but gave a range.

“I don’t have the specific ages because they have not been identified. But they’re not in their 20s or 30s. They seem to be probably, I would say, in their 50s, 60s, and maybe some even beyond that,” Luna said.