Monterey Park mass shooting live updates: Suspect had criminal history, police say
Written by ABC Audio. All rights reserved. on January 24, 2023
(MONTEREY PARK, Calif.) — Eleven people were killed and nine others were injured by a gunman who opened fire at a crowded dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday night, authorities said.
The suspect — identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran — fled the scene and traveled to nearby Alhambra, where he allegedly entered a second dance hall before being disarmed there that same night. Tran was found dead on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a van in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, according to police.
Here’s how the news is developing. All times Eastern:
Jan 23, 7:50 PM EST
Monterey Park was worst mass shooting in LA County history, supervisor says
Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Janice Hahn said that Saturday night’s shooting in Monterey, California, was the worst mass shooting in LA County history.
“Los Angeles County is in mourning,” Hahn said at a news conference on Monday.
Jan 23, 6:45 PM EST
Monterey Park suspect had criminal history, was making homemade firearm suppressors: Police
The suspected gunman in the Monterey Park, California, shooting that left 11 people dead had a limited criminal history, police said at a news conference on Monday.
Huu Can Tran, 72, was arrested in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm, according to officials.
Law enforcement officials served a search warrant at the suspect’s home and recovered a .308 caliber rifle and numerous electronic devices, police said.
According to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, the suspect manufactured homemade firearm suppressors.
-ABC News’ Matthew Fuhrman
Jan 23, 5:53 PM EST
2 more victims identified
The LA County Coroner’s office released the names of two more victims from this weekend’s mass shooting.
Xiujuan Yu, 57, and Valentino Alvero, 68, were among the 11 victims, the coroner’s said Monday afternoon.
The 11th victim who died at the hospital on Monday was also described as a woman in her 70s.
-ABC News’ Alex Stone
Jan 23, 4:13 PM EST
Gov. Newsom laments ‘rinse and repeat’ of mass shootings
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday lamented the “rinse and repeat” motions of the U.S. between mass shootings, during which the nation mourns but doesn’t make changes.
Newsom called large-capacity magazines “weapons of pure, mass destruction,” and said it’s “disgraceful” that the U.S. does not address it.
“The No. 1 killer of our kids last year was guns. The hell’s wrong with us?” Newsom told reporters Monday.
Americans should have the “freedom to walk the damn streets without being fearful,” he said.
The governor said he didn’t hold a news conference on the Monterey Park shooting on Sunday because “I can’t do those again … saying the same thing over and over again. I mean, it’s insane.”
-ABC News’ Matt Fuhrman
Jan 23, 4:00 PM EST
Man injured in massacre recounts the horror
Heong Bang, a man in his 60s who was injured in the mass shooting, told ABC News he heard what he thought was celebratory Lunar New Year fireworks, then suddenly felt pain his leg.
He said he looked around and saw fellow dancers on the ground covered in blood.
Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo prays as members of the community hold a prayer vigil in…
Bang was taken to the hospital with a leg injury. Bullet pieces were recovered from his leg; he said he gave the fragments to police.
Bang said he never thought this could happen. He said he’ll never step foot in a dance studio again.
-ABC News’ Reena Roy
Jan 23, 2:53 PM EST
11th victim dies
One of the victims hospitalized after the Monterey Park mass shooting has died, bringing the death toll to 11, hospital officials said Monday.
The LAC+USC Medical Center said it still has three patients from the shooting: one in serious condition and two who are “are recovering.”
Jan 23, 1:12 PM EST
Suspect ‘distrusted everyone,’ acquaintance says
The mass shooting suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, filed for divorce from his then-wife in 2005, according to court filings. The judge approved the divorce in 2006.
It appears he worked as a professional trucker for at least 20 years. He was the chief executive officer of a San Gabriel-based business called Tran’s Trucking Inc., established in 2002 and dissolved in 2004, according to incorporation filings.
Tran was found dead on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a van in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, according to police. No motive for the massacre has been determined. According to law enforcement sources, Tran had no known criminal history.
Tran’s former tenant and longtime acquaintance, who wished to remain unnamed, told ABC News that the suspect was a regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the massacre unfolded, and Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, where Tran entered with a gun later that night and was disarmed by a good Samaritan.
He told ABC News that Tran liked to dance but that he didn’t have many friends at either of the dance studios.
He said Tran “distrusted everyone.”
He added, “I wouldn’t say he was aggressive, but he just couldn’t get along well with people.”
He said Tran spent his nights mainly alone, but would offer women free lessons in the dance studio. He said that upset the owner and staff instructors, who made their living on paid lessons.
“I think there was tension between Tran and those instructors,” he said.
In 2015, the former tenant filed a small claims case against Tran, claiming Tran owed $750 to him, court records show. He explained that he filed the lawsuit because Tran had refused to pay him his security deposit. He told ABC News that he did not serve Tran in the suit, but he did serve his co-owner of the property, Janine Liu. ABC News reached out to Liu but has not heard back.
Jan 23, 12:31 PM EST
Devastated family of 65-year-old victim speaks out
Mymy Nhan, a 65-year-old woman killed in the Monterey Park dance studio mass shooting, “spent so many years” going there to dance on weekends, her family said.
“It’s what she loved to do,” the family said.
“We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined her life would end so suddenly,” her family said. “Her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.”
Jan 23, 11:30 AM EST
Rep. Chu’s message to community: Go to Lunar New Year celebrations
Rep. Judy Chu, a Democratic congresswoman who represents Monterey Park, told ABC News’ GMA3 that she wants to know the gunman’s motive for Saturday night’s massacre that claimed 10 lives.
“For him to do this right after we had our opening celebration of Lunar New Year was just horrific. There were thousands of people that were only one block away celebrating this very, very important holiday,” she said. “It was a joyous time that immediately turned to tragedy.”
Chu said the community is “beginning the healing process.”
“It’s been a horrific 24 hours. People were so fearful and anxious about an active shooter being out there in the community,” she said.
The suspect was found dead on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a van in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park, according to police.
“My message to the community is: you are safe,” Chu said. “And it’s so important for people to heal and to go to the Lunar New Year celebrations that they have been looking forward to all year long.”
Chu added, “The feelings of Asian Americans are very raw right now because we’ve just come from three years of anti-Asian hate due to COVID.”
“In fact, the reason that everybody was so enthusiastic about this Lunar New Year is that it was on hiatus for three years due to COVID. This was the first time it was being done in three years where everybody was together and in person,” she said. “So it should have been a wonderful time for our community.”
Jan 23, 10:53 AM EST
Ten slain victims all in their 50s, 60s or 70s
The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has released the names of two women killed in the mass shooting: 65-year-old My Nhan and 63-year-old Lilan Li.
The names of the other eight people killed have not yet been released. The coroner’s office has only identified them as a woman in her 50s; two women in their 60s; two men in their 60s; and three men in their 70s.
Jan 23, 9:51 AM EST
Governor visits Monterey Park
California Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted photos of his Sunday visit to Monterey Park.
He said he met with “leaders and those impacted by this terrible tragedy” and called their strength “incredible.”
“No other country in the world is terrorized by this constant stream of gun violence,” the Democratic governor tweeted. “We need real gun reform at a national level.”
Jan 23, 8:42 AM EST
Suspect had no documented criminal history
Authorities have found no criminal history for the suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting, ABC News has learned.
Investigators are still looking into a possible motive, including domestic violence.
-ABC News’ Josh Margolin and Alex Stone
Jan 23, 7:36 AM EST
‘Something came over me,’ says man who disarmed shooter
The man who disarmed the Monterey Park mass shooter recalled how “something came over me” during an interview Monday on ABC News’ “Good Morning America.”
“I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him,” Brandon Tsay said. “I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died.”
Jan 23, 7:01 AM EST
Dance studio releases statement
The dance studio in Monterey Park where Saturday’s mass shooting took place has released a statement.
“What should have been a festive night to welcome the first day of the Lunar New Year turned into a tragedy. Our heart goes out to all the victims, survivors, and their families,” Star Dance Studio said in a Facebook post late Sunday. “In this time of healing, we hope that all those who were affected have the space to grieve and process what transpired within the last 24 hours. In the meantime, all classes will be canceled and studio will be closed until further notice.”
Jan 23, 5:31 AM EST
Survivor says longtime dance partner was among those killed
Shally was dancing the jive with her longtime dance partner on Saturday night when a gunman entered the studio and opened fire.
“We go to hide under the table,” Shally, who only provided her first name, recalled during an interview with Los Angeles ABC station KABC. “I think [my partner] had got shot already but not realized yet.”
Shally said she saw the gunman leave to get more bullets. When he returned, he reloaded the gun and opened fire again, she said.
“I said, ‘Lie down.’ We all lied down,” Sally told KABC.
Shally said the shooter then fled the scene and she turned to her partner, who she realized was unconscious. She tried to wake him but then saw her hands were covered in blood, she said.
“I thought I got shot too,” she told KABC.
Shally said she then realized that her partner had been shot in the back and the blood on her hands was his, from when they were holding each other in fear while hiding under the table.
“‘Wake up, wake up,'” she recalled telling her partner. “He was dead.”
Shally, who did not want to share the name of her dance partner, said he was a good friend and that they had danced together every week for about 10 years. She described him as a 62-year-old Asian man who didn’t have any family and said he was also friends with her husband, whom she married a couple years ago.
“He’s a nice guy,” she told KABC of her dance partner. “We love to dance.”
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