Investigators found multiple “items of interest" at the mobile home of the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said on Monday, January 23.
Speaking at a press conference, Luna said among the items recovered were a 308-caliber rifle, computers and phones, materials that indicated the suspect was “manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors”, and “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition.
The death toll from the shooting rose to 11 on Monday, Luna confirmed. The sheriff also said a motive had still not been established.
The suspect, a 72-year-old man, died from a self-inflicted gunshot on Sunday, as police surrounded his vehicle in a shopping center parking lot in Torrance. Credit: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via Storyful
ROBERT LUNA: So just to start off, our homicide investigators are still working very hard, as they were yesterday, through the night and today. This is a very complex investigation. There's so many other things we don't know. But as I told you yesterday, when we started, or when we get more information, we'll be happy to bring it forth as we get it.
And it's not only the Sheriff's Department that's working on this. We're still working very hard with our partners from the FBI, the ATF, the District Attorney's office, the list goes on and on. And so anyways, we have additional information that we're going to be sharing with you today.
I think some of this information may have gotten out the last several hours, but I do regret to inform everybody that we did, unfortunately, have an 11th victim that passed away. So now, we have a total of 11 victims that unfortunately have died as a result of this tragic incident.
I also want to share the names of three victims in which-- and this is a key, I'm sharing these because the next of kin notifications have been completed. That's number one, My Nhan, female, 65 years of age, Lilan Li, female, 63 years of age, and Alvaro Valentino, a male, 68 years of age.
I'm going to pause there for a second. It's not so much, because the sirens going by. But when you think of it, these are three people who aren't with us anymore, three families who will never be the same. And we have to remember that, as we're talking about these, at the end of the day, it truly should be about the victims and their families. And the support and love, our prayers, our thoughts should be with all of them as we move forward.
So as most of you are aware, last night, we served a search warrant at the suspect's residence in the city of Hemet. As a result of the search warrant service, investigators recovered a few items of interest. These are just-- it's a summary, not everything we recovered.
We recovered one .308 caliber rifle, numerous electronic devices, such as cell phones, computers, et cetera, items that lead us to believe the suspect was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors, an unknown amount, I say unknown amount, and I'll explain that here, of .308 caliber and 9-millimeter caliber ammunition. And the reason we say an unknown amount, they were in containers. And there are hundreds of rounds. We don't know exactly how many there were, a lot of loose ammunition, so, eventually, you know, we'll get to exactly how many of those were.
From the Monterey Park scene, where the victims were assassinated, investigators recovered a total of 42 shell casings and a large capacity magazine. So 42 rounds were fired by the suspect at that location. Investigators also recovered a Norinco 7.62-by-25 handgun from inside the suspect's cargo van. That's the handgun that you saw being recovered from the van yesterday afternoon. That firearm was registered to the suspect.
There was also clothing that the suspect wore during the commission of this crime. And that was also recovered from the van. We have also learned that the firearm, which was wrestled away from the suspect at the Alhambra scene, was a 9-millimeter caliber, semi-automatic MAC-10 assault weapon.
I want to emphasize that all the firearms recovered still require additional forensic ballistic examinations and comparisons that we're doing with our partners as well as additional investigations into the origins of where the suspect got those weapons. A lot of work to be done there, but we don't want to leave any stone unturned. We are still not able to release additional information and photographs of the weapon.
And that's one thing, I was pushing our people to release the picture of the weapons that we recovered, but there's still witnesses that need to identify some of these things. And if we put them out there, it starts impacting the investigation. So that's why we're not releasing pictures yet.
Regarding the suspect's background, he has a limited criminal history with an arrest in 1990 for an unlawful possession of a firearm. I'd like to take a second to also Thank Mr. Brandon Tsay for his heroic action, which saved countless lives. He's the hero that disarmed the suspect at the Alhambra location and, in my opinion, saved many of lives.
Originally, we put out that there were two people. We find out ultimately, as we normally do as these things get investigated, there was only actually one person who disarmed them. But as you know, we're trying to put out information. It was preliminary. So there was one. And that's his name. And what a brave man he is.