Screenshot from a video shows emergency responders assisting a person to an ambulance following a shooting at Monterey Park, California, U.S. Jan. 22, 2023.
Tnla | Via Reuters
LOS ANGELES — At least 10 people were killed and at least 10 more injured in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, Calif., late Saturday, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
“Investigators are working every lead on this case,” Capt. Andrew Meyer from the department’s homicide division said at a news conference early Sunday, adding that they were reviewing CCTV footage from near the scene at a ballroom dance club.
“We have 10 that are deceased at the scene,” he said, adding that he believed at least 10 people had been taken to the hospital with “critical to stable injuries.”
Meyer said people were “pouring out of the location screaming” when officers arrived on the scene at around 10:30 p.m. local time (1:30 a.m. ET). He said officers then went into the dance ballroom as firefighters treated the wounded.
Police and fire units could be seen swarming the area in a video posted to social media. Others showed victims being transferred to ambulances.
Meyer said the male suspect fled the scene and remains at large. More information about the suspect would be provided once it became available, he said.
He did not say why investigators gave no information on the incident for hours while the shooter remained on the run.
“As far as the suspect knowing any of the victims, it’s too early the investigation to know that,” he said, adding that it was also too early to know what the motive is.
He said police were investigating another incident in the nearby city of Alhambra to see whether it was connected.
The shooting came after thousands of people had gathered for a Lunar New Year Festival in the small city around 10 miles east of Los Angeles of about 60,000 people with a large Asian population.
The two-day event features “food booths with various types of delectable items, amusement rides, and lots of live entertainment,” according to the city’s website.
Meyer said that police “will look at every angle as far as whether it was a hate crime or not,” but added that it was too early in the investigation to know whether the incident was racially motivated.
The event was canceled Sunday out of respect for the victims, Chief Scott Wiese of the Monterey Park Police Department, told the news conference.
Simu Liu, who portrays the warrior Shang-Chi in Marvel’s first Asian superhero movie, tweeted that he was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.
“It’s home of Asian American families, parents, grandparents, siblings, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles. All of whom were looking forward to celebrating the New Year this weekend,” he said.
The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.