An place where people had gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year was the scene of a mass shooting late Saturday in Monterey Park, California, in which at least 10 people were murdered and numerous others were hurt, according to authorities.
10 individuals were pronounced dead at the scene, according to Capt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, who also reported that 10 additional victims were transported to nearby hospitals in a range of situations, from stable to critical.
After the shooting, the suspect—whom officials had previously described as a man—reportedly fled the scene and is still at large, according to Meyer.
The suspect’s identity was not immediately known.
Around 10:30 p.m., officers arrived at the dance ballroom to find “people pouring out of the premises screaming,” Meyer said, adding that officers entered the club as firefighters attended to the injured.
Meyer stated that at this time, no other information was known on the used firearm.
He asserted that it is still too early in the investigation to determine whether the shooter knew any of the victims or whether the incident was motivated by hatred.
He said that authorities were looking into a different incident that happened at the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby city of Alhambra to see if it was related.
There were no early reports of injuries in that incident.
Sources told Fox News that police believe the two incidents are connected and that they know the suspected gunman’s identity. The sources said a “high-powered assault rifle” was used.
Karine Jean-Pierre, the press secretary for the White House, tweeted that President Biden has received a briefing on the shooting from Homeland Security Advisor Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall.
The incident at the Lunar New Year party was dubbed “horrific and cruel” by California Governor Gavin Newsom.
Photos and videos posted on the Citizen app, which enables citizens to report crimes in their neighborhood, show that a sizable police presence reacted to the 120 block of West Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park, a community in Los Angeles County.
A line of police cars were observed obstructing a space between the Chinese grocery store TS Emporium and a GBC International Bank.
W. Garvey Avenue was lined with entertainment venues, stores, and restaurants on Saturday night.
A mass shooting occurred, according to the Monterey Park Fire Department, however they were unable to establish how many individuals may have been shot.
Although Monterey police have not yet provided any details on the incident, they did say a news conference is planned for 7 a.m. PST.
The gunman is a guy, the sheriff’s department’s Sgt. Bob Boese previously confirmed to the Associated Press, but he withheld any other identifying information.
The Lunar New Year festival includes “vendors offering unique gifts and specialized items, food booths with many types of scrumptious dishes, amusement rides, and loads of live entertainment,” according to the Monterey Park city government website.
According to the Monterey Park municipal government website, the Lunar New Year event features “vendors offering unique presents and specialized items, food booths with numerous varieties of delectable meals, amusement rides, and tons of live entertainment.”