A police officer walks near the location of a mass shooting during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in Monterey Park. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A man fatally shot 10 people at a ballroom dance venue where people were celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year late on Saturday in a city on the eastern edge of Los Angeles, and he was still at large after fleeing the scene.
Another 10 people were taken to local hospitals to be treated for injuries, and at least one was in critical condition, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said early on Sunday morning, about five hours after the attack in Monterey Park.
When local police first arrived, people were “pouring out of the location screaming,” department captain Andrew Meyer told reporters in a news briefing at the scene.
There was no immediate information about a motive for the shooting or a description of the suspect or kind of gun used.
The shooting took place at 10:33 p.m. at the Star Dance Studio during an annual celebration where many downtown streets are closed for festivities that draw thousands of people from across Southern California. Police said the festivities planned for Sunday were now cancelled.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people around 7 miles from downtown Los Angeles. About two-thirds of its residents are Asian, according to U.S. Census data, and the city is known for its many Chinese restaurants and groceries. The sheriff’s department said it did not know whether the attack was racially motivated.
Footage posted on social media showed injured people on stretchers being taken to ambulances by emergency staff. Around the scene of the shooting police guarded cordoned-off streets, the video showed.
Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood barbecue restaurant near the site of the attack, told the Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his restaurant and told him to lock the door because a man was unloading multiple rounds of ammunition at the dance club across the street.
Sheriff’s deputies were also investigating an attempted shooting in nearby Alhambra at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio to determine whether the two incidents were connected. A news videographer said patrons were able to disarm the male suspect, who fled the scene, and no injuries were reported.
The attack in Monterey Park is the deadliest mass shooting since May 2022, when a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at a school in Uvalde, Texas.