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The man who police say killed 10 people at a Lunar New Year celebration shot himself in a van as authorities closed in

Science
1 min ago

New York Times: Man describes disarming suspected Monterey Park gunman at second dance hall location 

From CNN’s Kelly McCleary

A man who encountered the suspect at the Alhambra dance hall just minutes from the scene of the massacre said he knew immediately the armed man was dangerous. 

“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing,” Brandon Tsay told the New York Times. 

He was first alerted to the man’s presence when he heard the front doors at Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio close as he was working in the ticket office of the business his family has run for three generations, Tsay said.

The man pointed a semi-automatic weapon at Tsay, he told the Times, saying it was the first gun he’d seen in real life. “My heart sank, I knew I was going to die,” he said.

“From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people,” Tsay said.

He struggled with the man for about a minute and a half and eventually wrestled the gun from him, Tsay told the Times. He was able to grab the weapon when the man took his hand off it, as if to manipulate it to begin shooting, Tsay said.

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

Once Tsay was in control of the gun, he pointed it back at the suspect and yelled for him to “get the hell out of here,” he said.

Tsay told the Times he’s still processing what happened but is heartbroken for the Monterey Park community. “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,” he told the Times.

What authorities said about the second location: After releasing a barrage of gunfire on the people inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, police said the gunman drove to the second dance hall in neighboring Alhambra where he entered with a firearm but fled after being disarmed by two patrons. 

The suspect was later found dead inside a white cargo van after a standoff with police in Torrance, California, according to police.

25 min ago

The Monterey Park gunman’s motive is still being investigated. Here’s what we know — and don’t know — so far

From CNN’s Elizabeth Wolfe, Seán Federico-O’Murchú and Chris Boyette

FBI investigators stand near the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California on January 22. (Philip Cheung/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

Investigators in Monterey Park, California, are still searching for the motive of a gunman who killed 10 people and injured 10 others during a shooting inside a ballroom dance studio Saturday night, devastating the majority-Asian community on the eve of its Lunar New Year celebration.

The suspect, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was located in the nearby city of Torrance, where he died after shooting himself as police approached his vehicle, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Sunday.

Hours earlier, a gunman had walked into Star Ballroom Dance Studio shortly before 10:30 p.m. Saturday night, not long after the city’s streets had been crowded by thousands of festival-goers, the sheriff said.

After releasing a barrage of gunfire on the people inside, the gunman drove to a second dance hall in neighboring Alhambra where he entered with a firearm but fled after being disarmed by two patrons, Luna said.

If you are just catching up, here’s what we know — and don’t know — so far:

  • The victims: Authorities have not named any of those killed or injured. The coroner’s office is still working to identify the deceased so police can notify their families, Luna said, adding that the victims are generally older than 50. Seven of the injured victims were still hospitalized Sunday, he said.
  • Suspect found in nearby city: At around 10:20 a.m. Sunday, police in the city of Torrance — about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park — spotted a white cargo van matching the description of one seen leaving the scene of the Alhambra dance studio, Luna said. Officers followed the van into a shopping center parking lot and began getting out of their patrol car to approach the driver — later identified as Tran — but retreated when they heard a gunshot from inside the van, he said. Armored vehicles and SWAT teams arrived and eventually cleared the van, discovering Tran dead inside.
  • Evidence links suspect to shooting: Inside the van, investigators found “several pieces of evidence” linking Tran to both the Monterey Park and Alhambra dance studios, the sheriff said, not providing further details. They also found a handgun, Luna said. Police previously said a gun was wrestled from the armed man at the Alhambra dance studio. Three people who knew Tran told CNN he had once been a regular patron of the Monterey Park dance hall, where he gave informal dance lessons and met his ex-wife.
  • Suspect was carrying semi-automatic weapon: Luna described the firearm taken from the man in Alhambra as a “magazine-fed semi-automatic assault pistol” with an extended, large-capacity magazine. A law enforcement official told CNN it was a Cobray M11 9mm semi-automatic weapon.
  • Motive still unknown: Investigators have yet to determine a motive, Luna said, but will be considering any available criminal or mental health history and issue a search warrant to find more details. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has obtained a search warrant for Tran’s home in Hemet, California, about 80 miles east of Monterey Park, a Hemet Police spokesperson confirmed.

Read more here.

4 hr 59 min ago

Police will search the suspected gunman’s home for evidence

From CNN’s Rebekah Riess

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna speaks during a news conference in Monterey Park, California on January 22. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has obtained a search warrant for the home of a man suspected of carrying out a deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park, California on Saturday night.

The suspect, identified by police as 72-year-old Huu Can 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.

Tran’s residence is in a senior community called The Lakes at Hemet West, California, according to Hemet Police public information officer Alan Reyes.

“We understand this is a highly sensitive, ongoing investigation. Anything further will be released by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department,” Reyes said.

1 hr 6 min ago

What we know about the suspect in the Monterey Park massacre

From CNN’s Nouran Salahieh, Jeffrey Winter, Casey Tolan and Scott Glover

Huu Can Tran, 72, is believed to be the suspect behind the Monterey Park shooting. (LASD)

The 72-year-old man suspected of killing 10 people and wounding 10 others in a shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, Saturday had previously frequented the establishment, sources told CNN.

The suspect, identified as Huu Can Tran, was pronounced dead following a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday as police swarmed a white van in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

The shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio happened around 10:22 p.m. as the city’s large Asian American community was celebrating Lunar New Year weekend. About 17 to 20 minutes later, an armed man showed up at a second dance studio in nearby Alhambra where authorities say a group of people wrestled a gun away from him.

The mass shooting kicked off a manhunt across the region, with a description of a white van seen leaving the Alhambra incident broadcast to area law enforcement agencies. On Sunday morning, officers in Torrance spotted a white van that matched the description.

“When officers exited their patrol vehicle to contact the occupant, they heard one gunshot coming from within the van,” Luna said. “Officers retreated and requested several tactical teams to respond.” Then – as three armored vehicles blocked the van – the SWAT team approached and found Tran dead inside, Luna said.

Tran had once been a regular patron at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, his ex-wife and a long-time acquaintance both told CNN.

Tran’s former wife, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the case, said she met Tran about two decades ago at Star Ballroom, 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, she said.

Read the full story here.

6 hr 29 min ago

How US gun culture stacks up with the world

From CNN’s Kara Fox, Krystina Shveda, Natalie Croker and Marco Chacon

Ubiquitous gun violence in the United States has left few places unscathed over the decades. Still, many Americans hold their right to bear arms, enshrined in the US Constitution, as sacrosanct.

But critics of the Second Amendment say that right threatens another: The right to life.

America’s relationship to gun ownership is unique, and its gun culture is a global outlier.

Here’s a look at how gun culture in the US compares to the rest of the world:

  • The United States is the only country where civilian guns outnumber people, with 120 guns for every 100 Americans.
  • The US has the highest firearm homicide rate in the developed world — about 4 per 100,000 people. That’s 18 times the average rate in other developed countries. 
  • The US was home to 4% of the world’s population but accounted for 44% of global suicides by firearm in 2019.
  • No other developed nation has mass shootings at the same scale or frequency as the US.

Read the full story:

6 hr 32 min ago

There have been more mass shootings than days in 2023

It is only the 23rd day of the year, and there have already been at least 36 mass shootings in the United States so far, according to the nonprofit organization Gun Violence Archive.

This means there have been more mass shootings this year than there have been days in 2023.

CNN and the GVA define a mass shooting as a shooting that injured or killed four or more people, not including the shooter.

1 hr ago

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

From CNN staff

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 Monday morning, 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.
57 min ago

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 venue, 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 the 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 2000s and early 2010s, 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 firm about two years later, writing in a corporate filing that the it 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.

4 hr 52 min ago

Coroner’s office working to identify victims of Monterey Park mass shooting

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

Police investigate the scene in Monterey Park, California, on January 22. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

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.