(CTN NEWS) – MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – Ten people were killed, and at least ten more were injured in a mass shooting on Sunday (Jan. 22), according to police, who added that the perpetrator was still at large hours later.
Witnesses claim the shooter used a semiautomatic pistol to fire randomly at the dance hall in Monterey Park as the neighborhood celebrated the Lunar New Year.
Around 10.20 p.m. on Saturday, Captain Andrew Meyers of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said deputies had responded to emergency calls and saw people swarming out of the building.
“The officers arrived at the scene and discovered more victims,” he claimed.
“The Monterey Park Fire Department arrived on location, attended to the injured, and declared 10 of the victims dead there.
“There are at least 10 more victims who have been sent to numerous nearby hospitals and are categorised in a range of statuses from stable to critical.
The culprit eluded capture and is still at large. Police did not describe the wanted guy or specify the type of weapon he carried.
About 61,000 people live in, located 13 kilometers east of downtown Los Angeles. The majority of these residents are Asian or Asian Americans.
Meyer claimed that a second occurrence in the nearby city of Alhambra was also known to the detectives. He added that investigators are on the site looking for connections between the two instances.
According to media sources, a shooting attempt at a ballroom and dance studio in Alhambra was stopped after the claimed shooter was tackled and disarmed.
Following a briefing on the murders in Monterey Park, US President Joe Biden directed the FBI to support local law enforcement “fully,” according to a tweet from White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
According to resident Wong Wei, his friend had been inside the dance club and was in the restroom when the shooting started.
When she came out, she witnessed a man firing randomly with a long rifle, along with the bodies of three people—two of them women—and the man he claimed to be the club’s leader.
According to the newspaper, Seung Won Choi, a seafood BBQ restaurant owner close to the incident, claimed that three people ran into his establishment and ordered him to lock the door.
According to the three, a man was carrying a semiautomatic rifle who always had extra rounds of ammo on hand and would reload when he ran out of them, Choi told the newspaper.
The two-day Lunar New Year festival, one of the biggest in southern California, attracted tens of thousands of people earlier in the day, according to The Times.
After the incident, the festival’s second day—Sunday—was postponed. Detectives are uncertain, according to Meyer, as to whether the perpetrator knew his victims or was specifically targeting them.
He added that police were watching security video and said, “We will look at every angle.”
He informed reporters that it was just too early in the investigation to determine whether or not this incident qualified as a hate crime.
According to the US Department of Justice, over 7,000 hate crimes were reported nationwide in 2021, impacting over 9,000 people.
It claimed that two-thirds of those incidents included race.
According to the website Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as an occurrence in which four or more persons are shot or killed, excluding the gunman, there were 647 shootings in the U. S. last year.
In 2022, more than 44,000 people died from gunshot wounds, with suicides accounting for more than half of these deaths.
With one in three adults owning at least one firearm and almost one in two adults residing in homes with firearms, the country has more weapons than people.
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