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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Suspect found dead after dance studio attack in Monterey Park shooting

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California police have identified the gunman suspected of killing 10 people in a ballroom dance studio near Los Angeles as Huu Can Tran, 72, who was later found dead in a white van, media reports said.

He had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and was declared dead at the scene, LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

Celebrations for Lunar New Year had been under way in Monterey Park, known for its large Asian population.

Police do not yet know the motive.

Ten people were wounded in the shooting, and seven are still in hospital, some in a critical condition, the sheriff said at a news conference on Sunday afternoon in Monterey Park.

He added that the 10 people who died were still being identified, but they “seem to be probably in their 50s, 60s and some maybe even beyond there”.

Earlier, officials said five women and five men had been killed, all “probably” of Asian descent.

The mass shooting, one of the deadliest in California’s history, began at around 22:22 local time on Saturday (06:22 GMT on Sunday) at the popular Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, BBC news reports.

Monterey Park’s population is about 65% Asian American – it has been called America’s first “Chinese suburb”. It became the first mainland US city to have a majority of residents with Asian ancestry.

With a community in mourning, the Monterey Park celebrations of Lunar New Year were cancelled, according to BBC news.

Businesses began removing the red lanterns and festive banners that had adorned the streets.

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