Monterey Park, California (KABC) — Authorities are trying to determine the motives of the shooter who killed 10 people and injured 10 at a Monterey Park dance studio.
The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead in a van in Torrance on Sunday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, ending an hour-long search for the shooter.
Law enforcement said the suspect had no criminal record. Investigators are investigating the possibility that domestic violence played a role in Saturday’s shooting.
The next day, law enforcement officers swarmed the van associated with the suspect and surrounded it for hours before moving inside. has confirmed that the body found is that of the suspected shooter.
Authorities said Tolan used the van to get away after he was prevented from attacking another dance hall in the Alhambra, and 17 minutes later he opened fire on the Star Ballroom dance studio on West Garvey Avenue. .
At the Alhambra ballroom, Luna said, Tolan walked in with a firearm and several people wrestled with it.
Surveillance images obtained by Eyewitness News show the moment a man inside the Lai Lai Ballroom confronted and disarmed the suspect. Tran then fled the scene.
Little is known about Tolan and his links with the communities and dancehalls he targeted. Public records show that he once had an address in Monterey Park and neighboring cities.
But Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the motive for the attack remained unclear and 10 people were injured. At a press conference Sunday night, Luna said it appeared that all those killed appeared to be over 50 people. No other suspects were on the run, sheriffs said.
“What was the shooter’s motive? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic abuser? How did he get the gun? Is it through legal means?” Was it?” said Congressman Judy Chu.
Luna added that the suspect was carrying what he described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wease said on Sunday night that officers arrived at the Monterey Park dance studio within three minutes of receiving a call shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. I found a carnage taking place and people trying to escape through every door.
“When they entered the parking lot, it was chaos,” Wiese said.
“The first officers to show up at the scene were some of my youngest officers,” said Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wease. “They were only on the street for a short time.”
According to Wiese, police officers arrived at the scene where “no one was ready” but without hesitation went inside.
Luna said authorities were looking for the white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee the Alhambra in such a vehicle.
Sources tell ABC7 that the van’s license plate was stolen. An LA County Sheriff picked up the license plate at the Alhambra. Using that license plate information, the Torrance Police Department pulled over the van around 10:20 am.
WATCH: Van linked to Monterey Park shooting suspect stole license plates, sources say
Police heard gunshots coming from inside the vehicle after the driver parked it in the parking lot.
“Thanks to information sharing, the Torrance Police Department was able to actually find this van on the street, and we are doing good policing,” said LA County Supervisor Janice Hahn.
Law enforcement was seen converging at the suspect’s mobile home in Hemet on Sunday evening after issuing a search warrant.
According to neighbors, Tran lived there for about a year. Pat Ross said he was a dance instructor, but didn’t know much about him, he lived alone.
“I didn’t think he had angry bones in his body, but it’s just watching him go in and out,” Ross said.
Meanwhile, seven of the injured remained in hospital on Sunday night, Luna said.
The department typically does not disclose the names of hospitals where victims of violent crime are treated, sheriffs said. But in this case, he said, the disturbing incident strengthened the decision to keep the information private.
“Somebody called one of those hospitals and said they wanted to go and get the job done,” said Luna. “That’s absolutely terrifying.”
“Please, these victims and survivors are dealing with a lot. Let’s not hurt them any more.”
All families and victims affected by the shooting are urged to go to the Langley Senior Center at 400 West Emerson Avenue, where the Crisis Response Team is located.
Luna said five women and five men were among the dead victims.
These victims have yet to be formally identified by authorities, but friends have identified one of those killed as dance instructor Ming Wei Ma. I was.
Friends say he gave his life to save others.
“Mr. Ma, much loved and respected in the dance community, has been doing it for over 20 years. He was trying to stop the shooter and he passed away,” said friend Eric. Chen said
The Monterey Park Massacre was the fifth mass murder in the United States this month. It was also the worst attack since his May 24th at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, where he killed 21 people.
The shooting took place in the heart of the downtown area, where red lanterns adorned the streets for the Chinese New Year celebrations. The celebration in Monterey Park is his one of the biggest in California. In the past few years he has planned his two-day celebration which has been attended by as many as 100,000 people. But authorities canceled Sunday’s event following the shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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