10 people dead, at least 10 others hurt in shooting at dance club in Southern California

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Police officers stand watch after a shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, Calif., late Saturday. Photo by Caroline Brehman/EPA-EFE

Jan. 22 (UPI) — Ten people died and at least 10 others were hurt in a shooting at a ballroom dance studio late Saturday in Southern California, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

A man suspect, without a description or motive, remains at large after the mass shooting that occurred at 10:22 p.m., sheriff’s Capt. Andrew Meyer told reporters Sunday morning.

“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons … pouring out of the location, screaming. The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims,” Meyer said.

He said it was too soon to determine whether the shooting, which took place in a community that is 65% Asia, was a hate crime.

“We will look at every angle,” Meyer said. There was no description of the weapon used other than it was a firearm, Meyer said.

The Chinese Lunar New Year began Saturday.

The city’s event that was scheduled to be extended into Sunday is now canceled, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Weise.

Earlier, an incident ocrrured in the eighboring suburb Alhambra, north of Monterey Park. “We have investigators on scene trying to determine if there’s a connection between these two incidents,” Meyer said.

Ten people died at the scene and 10 others were transported to local hospitals in conditions from stable to critical.

Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood barbecue restaurant across from where the shooting happened, told the Los Angeles Times three people rushed into his restaurant and told him to lock the door.

Wong Wei, who lives nearby, said his friend went to the dance club that night with a few of her friends. The friend was in the bathroom during the shooting. The gunman was carrying a long gun, the friends said.

Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office in L.A., wrote on Twitter: “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred.”

On Christmas Eve in 2008, a man dressed as Santa Claus entered a home in Covina, with five handguns. Nine people died in that shooting rampage, including the gunman’s former wife and her parents. The gunman took his life hours later.

In 2015, a terrorist attack killed 14 in San Bernardino.

Agencies involved are the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, the Monterey Park Police and others.



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