Manhunt underway for gunman who shot dead 10 and left 10 hospitalized after opening fire with ‘assault-style rifle’ inside dance studio with revelers celebrating Chinese Lunar New Year
Five men and five women were slain during the rampage at the ballroom dance club, seven miles outside downtown Los Angeles
Another ten people were injured, after the shooting in Monterey Park, around 10 PM on Saturday night
Los Angeles authorities said a “very preliminary description” was that the suspect is an Asian man aged 30 to 50
Police confirm suspect is still at large after ‘machine gun’ shooting reported
20 minutes after the Monterey Park shooting, a “male Asian suspect” with a firearm walked into another dance hall in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra
No one was killed in Alhambra, after ‘some individuals wrestled the firearm from gunman, and he fled’
Investigations are underway to determine if both incidents are linked
For the Chinese community of California the festivities seeing off the outgoing year of the Tiger and ushering the Year of the Rabbit suffered a rude awakening Saturday evening when the new year celebrations broke out with a mass shooting.
Police in California immediately launched a manhunt in the Los Angeles area for the gunman who shot 20 people, leaving 10 dead and 10 hospitalized during a mass shooting at the All Star Ballroom, a dance studio in Monterey Park on Saturday night.
The shooter armed with an assault-style rifle reportedly opened fire at the ballroom during a Chinese Lunar New Year event in Monterey Park.
The motive behind the “heinous” crime at the Star Dance Studio in the Asian-American enclave of Monterey Park Saturday night was still unknown, but investigators were probing whether the massacre was driven by hate.
Five men and five women were slain during the rampage at the ballroom dance club, about seven miles outside downtown Los Angeles, according to police. The shooting occurred about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles around 10 PM on Saturday night.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said a “very preliminary description” was that the suspect is an Asian man aged 30 to 50, but he did not provide further details.
“We are utilizing every resource to apprehend this suspect in what we believe to be one of the county’s most heinous cases,” Luna said.
Witnesses uploaded horrifying images of victims being stretched from the scene before being rushed to hospital as cops and ambulances swarmed the area.
Police said terrified festival goers streamed out of the area ‘screaming’ after bullets began flying.
An investigation is underway to determine whether a second shooting at Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra was linked to the Monterey Park. No one was killed in Alhambra.
Local restaurant owner Seung Won Choi told the LA Times three people rushed into his business and told him to lock the door.
Choi said he was told there was a man with a machine-gun, and believes there shooting took place at a dance club.
He added the man had multiple rounds of ammunition on him and would reload every time he ran out.
Local resident Wong Wei told the Los Angeles Times his friend was at the dance club, and was in the bathroom when shooting broke out.
When she emerged, she said she saw a gunman and three bodies – two women and one person who he said was the boss of the club.
Captain Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles Sheriff´s Department confirmed on Sunday the suspect was still at large.
He said the wounded were taken to hospitals and their conditions range from stable to critical. Meyer said the 10 people died at the scene.
Meyer said people were ‘pouring out of the location screaming’ when officers arrived on the scene.
He said police then went into the dance ballroom as first responders and EMTs treated the wounded.
The Sheriff’s Deputy told City News Service: ‘It is an isolated incident’. A motive has not been reported at this time.
Capt. Meyer said that authorities are investigating ‘every angle’ to determine whether or not the shooting was racially motivated.
Ten deaths and ten injuries makes it the joint fourth most deadly shooting in California’s history.
The attack reportedly took place about an hour after a Lunar New Year Festival had finished.
Tens of thousands of people had attended the two-day festival earlier in the day, which is one of the largest in Southern California.
Footage posted on social media showed deserted, cordoned-off streets guarded by police cars.
Monterey Park is a city in Los Angeles county, around 7 miles from downtown Los Angeles, with a population of about 60,000 people.
About 20 minutes after the Monterey Park shooting, a “male Asian suspect” with a firearm walked into another dance hall in the neighboring suburb of Alhambra, Sheriff Luna said.
However, a catastrophe was averted after “Some individuals wrestled the firearm from him, and that individual took off,” he said.
Officials are still working to determine whether there is a connection between the two incidents.
Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia tweeted: ‘Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred.
‘Monterey Park is home to one of the largest Asian communities in Los Angeles County and many were out celebrating the Lunar New Year.’
According to demographic data, Monterey Park is home to an Asian majority population. About 65 percent of community residents are Asian.
Monterey Park’s two-day Lunar New Year festival had been scheduled to conclude Sunday. But the day’s events are canceled “out of an abundance of caution and in reverence for the victims,” Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said.