On Saturday, January 21, a shooter opened fire inside Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others in an area predominantly populated by Asian families, on the eve of Lunar New Year celebrations. The suspect was found dead on Sunday, but new information about the tragedy is still coming to light. Below, find a roundup of all the information we have so far about the Monterey Park mass shooting.
Who was the shooter?
The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van in the city of Torrance on Sunday, 30 miles away from the scene of the crime.
Who were the victims?
Many of the victims’ identities have not been made public thus far, but the shooting took place at a dance studio where many attendees were practicing guangchang wu, a dance popular among middle-aged and older Chinese patrons. “No one dared to flee—we all got down to the ground, hiding wherever we could,” a dance student in her 50s identified only as Grace told the New York Times on Sunday.
How was the shooter ultimately disarmed?
After opening fire at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the shooter made his way to Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, where dance hall operator Brandon Tsay struggled with the gunman and ultimately disarmed him. “That moment, it was primal instinct,” said Tsay of his actions, adding, “Something happened there. I don’t know what came over me.”
Will the shooting be investigated as a hate crime?
An official motive in the Monterey Park mass shooting has yet to be established, with Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna saying on Sunday: “We don’t know if this is specifically a hate crime defined by law, but who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?” Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo told NBC News that the shooter may have been targeting his ex-wife, who Lo believed had been at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio when the shooting took place.
How has the world responded to this tragedy?
The impact of another mass shooting targeting the AAPI community in the U.S., just two years after Georgia’s massage-parlor shootings, has been noted by many. President Joe Biden offered his condolences to those affected via Twitter on Sunday, adding that he has directed his Homeland Security Advisor to “mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities as they continue to respond and investigate this shooting.”