The suspected gunman wanted in connection with the deaths of ten people and the injuries of at least ten others during the Lunar New Year celebration on Saturday has been found dead after shooting himself, police said Sunday night, January 22.
California Lunar New Year mass shooting: Huu Can Tran, 72, the alleged mass murderer, shot himself inside a cargo van after a standoff with law enforcement, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna during an evening press conference outside Monterey Park City Hall.
The sheriff stated that Tran, who is accused of opening fire in a Monterey Park ballroom after a Lunar New Year celebration, acted alone, and that authorities are still looking into a motive.
During the rampage at the ballroom dance club, about eight miles outside of downtown Los Angeles, five men and five women were killed. Officials said ten others were injured and seven were still being treated at local hospitals as of Sunday evening, with their conditions ranging from stable to critical.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna stated at a press conference that the victims were “probably” of Asian descent.
Police in Torrance, California, spotted a white van matching the suspect vehicle description at 10:20 a.m. They followed the van into a parking lot at a shopping mall, where they heard a single gunshot from inside the van.
The local cops retreated and dispatched tactical teams to respond.
Before noon local time, armored tanks and a bomb squad approached the van, sparking a more than hour-long standoff.
A SWAT team opened the passenger door and then the side doors of the vehicle shortly before 1 p.m. local time. Investigators confirmed that a man slumped over in the driver’s seat was the shooting suspect based on photos.
Luna’s department had previously issued a wanted poster of the suspect, who was wearing glasses and a dark winter beanie with a white design, a leather jacket, and glasses. He also did not rule out the possibility of a second suspect, but provided no evidence that one existed.
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Chester Chong, chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, confirmed that the shooting occurred.
“I was told the wife was invited to the Lunar New Year Party and the husband was not,”
Chester Chong, chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, told The Post.
Luna stated that the department is withholding some information from the public on purpose, in part because someone called a hospital with some of the injured victims and threatened to “finish the job.”
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The sheriff stated that inside the van, officials discovered a handgun and evidence linking Tran to the Lunar New Year massacre. Investigators recovered an assault pistol with an extended large capacity magazine attached from a second location where no shots were fired.
The massacre was the deadliest in the United States since a May massacre at a Uvalde, Texas elementary school that killed 21 people, and it was the fifth such heinous incident in the country in 2023.