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California gunman found dead in van after killing 10 in Chinese New Year mass shooting | US News

A man suspected of killing 10 people in a Chinese New Year mass shooting in California died of a gunshot wound in his van as officers approached.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said a man was found dead in the vehicle he used to flee the scene of the second shooting attempt.

The suspected attacker has been identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.

Mr. Luna said no other suspects were yet at large.

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Earlier on Sunday, police surrounded the van with tactical vehicles and truck bombs.

Mr. Luna said the shooting at the Star Ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, Los Angeles, left five women and five men dead, with another 10 wounded.

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Watch the video of the moment police surrounded a van linked to the suspected attacker

Some mistook the shots for New Year’s fireworks, said Tiffany Chiu, 30, who was celebrating at her home.
parents’ home near the ballroom.

“A lot of older people live here, it’s usually really quiet,” she told Reuters news agency. “This is not something you expect here.”

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This composite image created using photos provided by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department shows a male suspect allegedly involved in a shooting on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Monterey Park, California.  The second incident occurred about 20 minutes later in Alhambra, California.  Investigators have identified him as a homicide suspect and should be considered armed and dangerous.  A gunman killed 10 people at the Star Ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park and then may have tried, but failed, to target another ballroom, authorities said Sunday, Jan. 22.  (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department via AP)
The painting:
Officers released photos of the suspect earlier Sunday

What do we know about the suspected attacker?

His name was Huu Can Tran, 72. He fled and killed himself as police closed in on his van in LA on Sunday.

He lived in an over-55 mobile home park in Hemet, California, about 65 miles east of where the murders took place.

Police are investigating how he obtained his gun, which had an extended, high-capacity magazine.

Tran’s ex-wife told CNN that she met him at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio — where the shooting happened — about 20 years ago, and that he taught lessons there.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said he was never violent towards her but would get angry easily.

A longtime acquaintance of Tran said he would go to the studio almost every night in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

They told CNN that he was “hostile to a lot of people there” and that Tran claimed that the instructors at the time didn’t like him and said “mean things about him.”

It’s unclear if Tran had been at the dance studio recently and if he knew anyone who was inside during the shooting.

Then, 20 to 30 minutes after the first attack, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Hall in the nearby Alhambra, and people took his weapon away before fleeing, Luna said.

Authorities believe the two incidents are connected, but have not released details about a motive.

The shooting sent a wave of fear into Asian-American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year celebrations across the country. Other cities sent additional officers to oversee the celebrations.

The massacre was the country’s fifth mass killing this month.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles and consists mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first generation Asian Americans.

The shooting happened in the city center where red lanterns decorated the streets to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A police car was parked next to a large banner reading “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

‘It’s just scary’: City reeling after shooting

It’s immediately apparent that Monterey Park is unlike anywhere else in California.

The small city of about 61,000 people is eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles, but it could be a different country, with Chinese supermarkets, dumpling restaurants and shop signs written in Chinese alongside English.

More than 65% of the people who live here are Asian American. It is, as one scholar has described it, “an ethnic enclave in the suburbs that thrives because it refuses to assimilate, instead unapologetically caring for its own immigrant community.”

Yet he is not immune to the most American of tragedies. But even as Monterey Park comes to terms with the 10 people killed during a ballroom dance class, there is a quiet and peaceful resolution.

In front of the police cordon on the street where the massacre took place, a group of people kneel and pray, asking God for strength.

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The celebration in Monterey Park is one of the largest in California and attracted tens of thousands of people throughout the day.

Two days of festivities, which in past years have been attended by as many as 100,000 people, were planned, but officials canceled Sunday’s events after the shooting.

President Joe Biden condemned the killings in a written statement and said he had directed his homeland security adviser, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, to mobilize federal support for local authorities.

“While we await more important information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the greater area that we will support you in any way we can,” Biden said.

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