Monterey Park shooting – latest: Killer made ‘poison’ complaint to police, amid ‘homemade silencers’ find

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment a heroic 26-year-old wrestled a gun away from accused mass shooter Huu Can Tran before he could embark on a second horror shooting rampage in California.

The video shows Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, disarming Tran just minutes after the 72-year-old shot dead 10 victims at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in nearby Monterey Park.

“I needed to get the weapon away from him, disarm him, or else everyone else would have died,” heroic Mr Tsay told ABC News on Monday.

After being tackled by Mr Tsay, Tran fled the scene.

On Sunday, he was tracked down to a parking lot in Torrance where he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a white van during a standoff.

A motive for the massacre remains unknown, though acquaintances revealed he had ties to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

Meanwhile, the first victims killed have now been identified. Friends said Ming Wei Ma, the owner of the studio was killed as he heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre. The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office named two women, My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63, as victims.

All eleven of those who died were over the age of fifty. Another nine were injured.

Key points

  • Footage captures hero wrestling gun from attacker

  • Suspect was regular at studio and claimed instructors said ‘evil things’ about him

  • First victim identified as hero owner of ballroom club

  • Huu Can Tran met former wife at ballroom studio

  • Police say gunman killed himself in white van after standoff

Monterey Park shooter thought his family tried to poison him, police say

06:19 , Stuti Mishra

The Monterey Park gunman had told the police earlier this month that his family had tried to poison him decades ago, officials said.

Hemet police spokesperson Alan Reyes said in a statement on Monday that 72-year-old Huu Can Tran visited the Hemet Police Department lobby twice this month – on 7 January and then again on 9 January.

Tran had also made allegations of fraud and theft, apart from claiming that his family in the Los Angeles area had tried to poison him some 10-20 years ago.

Maroosha Muzaffar has more details:

Monterey Park killer thought his family tried to poison him decades ago

California rocked by third mass shooting in three days as one killed and seven injured in Oakland

10:30 , Rachel Sharp

California has been rocked by its third mass shooting in as many days as one victim was killed and seven others injured in a shooting rampage at a gas station in Oakland.

The shooting unfolded just after 6pm on Monday evening at a gas station along Seminary Avenue and Macarthur Blvd, according to the Oakland Police Department (OPD).

Law enforcement responded to the scene after being notified to a shooting through ShotSpotter activity.

Read the full story here:

California rocked by third mass shooting in days as 1 killed, 7 injured in Oakland

Seven killed in latest mass shooting at Half Moon Bay

09:58 , Rachel Sharp

Less than 48 hours on from the massacre in Monterey Park, California was rocked by yet another mass shooting on the outskirts of Half Moon Bay in San Francisco on Monday.

Seven people were killed across two locations at agricultural businesses – a mushroom farm and a trucking facility – before a suspect was taken into custody.

The gunman shot dead four victims and wounded a fifth at the farm, before shooting another three victims dead at the second business located a few miles away, according to authorities.

Chunli Zhao, a 67-year-old worker at the mushroom farm, was found sitting in his car in the parking lot of a sheriff’s substation and was taken into custody, San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said.

The motive for the attack remains unclear but Mr Zhao and the victims all worked at the businesses.

Coroner’s office names first two victims

09:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has released the names of two of the ten victims of the Monterey Park shooting on Saturday night.

Both were women in their 60s — My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63.

The other victims are three other women and five men, nine of whom are in their 60s and 70s and one of whom was aged in her 50s, officials have said.

Unofficially, friends identified the first victim as the owner of the ballroom studio.

Ming Wei Ma, the studio owner and a dance instructor, heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre, a friend told CBS Los Angeles.

City of Alhambra Lunar New Year celebration to go ahead

08:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The City of Alhambra has announced that it will go ahead with its planned Lunar New Year celebration this coming Sunday, 29 January.

A statement released via Facebook says: “While we don’t have all the information on the motives of Saturday night’s tragedy, Sheriff Luna has confirmed it was not related to the Lunar New Year Festival and the suspect is no longer a threat to the community.

“Alhambra’s Lunar New Year Festival will still take place this Sunday, January 29th. The safety of our community is paramount, as such, additional resources from the Alhambra Police Department will be present.

“We look forward to our celebration and our community coming together.”

Mass shooting survivors and gun reform advocates react

07:30 , Oliver O'Connell

High-profile survivors of mass shootings and gun reform advocates have reacted with horror and outrage after a gunman murdered 11 people at a Los Angeles dance hall on the eve of Lunar New Year.

Bevan Hurley reports.

David Hogg, George Takei, Gabby Giffords and Simu Liu react to Monterey Park shooting

President Biden’s full statement following shooting

05:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House released the following statement from President Joe Biden following the deadly shooting in Monterey Park.

Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don’t know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds.

Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.

Early this morning, I directed my Homeland Security Advisor to mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities as they continue to respond and investigate this shooting. As we await more crucial information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can.

Immediate aftermath and reaction to the shooting

04:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Following the deadly shooting and attempted second attack, the second day of the Lunar New Year festivities was cancelled on Sunday, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Weise.

“The festival that occurred Saturday also extended to Sunday. Out of an abundance of caution and reverence for the victims, we are canceling the event that’s going to happen later today,” he told reporters.

Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office in LA, issued a statement in response to the shooting.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighbouring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” he said.

Monterey Park’s demographic data shows that just over 65 per cent of its population identifies as Asian, with Hispanic identifying people making up the next largest group at 28 per cent.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Sunday morning that Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and noted that FBI agents had been dispatched to investigate the attack.

Governor Gavin Newsom called the attack a “heartless act of gun violence”.

“Monterey Park should have had a night of joyful celebration of the Lunar New Year. Instead, they were the victims of a horrific and heartless act of gun violence. Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night. We are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.

On Sunday, he visited Monterey Park and issued a proclamation declaring Lunar New Year and ordering flags across all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

How did the standoff with the shooter unfold?

03:30 , Oliver O'Connell

After fleeing the Lai Lai Ballroom, Tran went on the run and a huge manhunt was launched to track him down.

It culminated around 12 hours later with a police standoff in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park.

Witnesses at the Alhambra incident had reported seeing a white van at the scene and officers spotted Tran driving the van around Torrance on Sunday morning.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference on Sunday that, as police closed in, Tran drove into a parking lot and shot himself dead.

“When officers exited their patrol vehicle to contact the occupant, they heard one gunshot coming from within the van,” the sheriff said.

SWAT teams surrounded the vehicle before approaching the van.

 (ABC7)
(ABC7)

The armored vehicles were positioned directly behind and infront of the van to prevent the suspect from driving away from the scene. Later, a third BearCat was moved to block the driver’s side door of the van, where the window had been smashed out.

SWAT members then opened the passenger and side doors of the vans and found Tran dead inside from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said.

Evidence found inside the vehicle – including a handgun – allegedly ties the 72-year-old to the shooting.

What happened at the second location in Alhambra?

02:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Around 20 minutes after the first shooting, investigators believe Tran then travelled to a second dance studio in the neighbouring city of Alhambra.

There, a heroic worker managed to wrestle the semiautomatic assault pistol from the suspect as he attempted to carry out a second attack.

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment 26-year-old Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom, bravely wrestled the gun away from Tran.

Mr Tsay told the New York Times that he was in the office off the lobby watching the ballroom when he heard the front doors swing close and a noise that sounded like metal hitting metal.

Surveillance footage captures a brave patron stopping the gunman at Lai Lai Ballroom (Lai Lai Ballroom)
Surveillance footage captures a brave patron stopping the gunman at Lai Lai Ballroom (Lai Lai Ballroom)

At that moment, he said he turned around to see the suspect pointing a gun at him.

Mr Tsay described the suspect as “menacing” saying: “He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm.” The two men got into a struggle before the 26-year-old managed to disarm the gunman.

Tran fled the scene – with no one at that second studio injured.

What happened in Monterey Park on Saturday night?

01:30 , Oliver O'Connell

On Saturday night in Monterey Park, approximately seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles, visitors gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The two-day festival draws tens of thousands, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the region, according to the paper.

Around 10.22pm, a man entered the Star Dance Studio and began shooting. Police do not know if he was targeting individuals, firing indiscriminately, or both.

Seung Won Choi, the owner of a seafood restaurant across the street from the ballroom, told the LA Times that party attendees fled the building and ran into his business, warning him to close and lock his doors.

Map showing locations of Star Dance Studio, where gunman Huu Can Tran shot dead 10 people; the Lai Lai Ballroom, where he was disarmed by members of the public; and Torrance, where his van was stopped by police (Datawrapper)
Map showing locations of Star Dance Studio, where gunman Huu Can Tran shot dead 10 people; the Lai Lai Ballroom, where he was disarmed by members of the public; and Torrance, where his van was stopped by police (Datawrapper)

Police arrived at the scene and found that the partygoers were already fighting to escape the building.

“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons … pouring out of the location, screaming,” Monterey Park police chief Scott Wiese told reporters Sunday. “The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims.”

Ten victims were killed in the attack and another 10 wounded. One of the wounded succumbed to their injuries on Monday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said witnesses described the suspect as a male of Asian descent, between the ages of 30 and 50, though he noted during a Sunday press conference that descriptions were not consistent between all witnesses.

Investigators find homemade ‘suppressors’ at shooter;s home

01:15 , Graeme Massie

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters on Monday that investigators who searched the gunman’s home in Hemet, California, found a .308-caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition, and electronic devices, including mobile phones and computers.

Sheriff Luna also said that they found items that made them believe the suspect was making firearm silencers, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Police say shooter made ‘poison’ complaint to them earlier this month

00:54 , Graeme Massie

The gunman showed up at the Hemet Police Department lobby on 7 January and 9 January saying that his family tried to poison him in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago.

He left and said he would return with evidence as well as making allegations of fraud and theft, Hemet police spokesperson Alan Reyes told The Los Angeles Times.

But officials say that they never saw him again.

What we know about Huu Can Tran

00:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The suspect accused of killing 10 people in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California was found dead in a van from a self-inflicted gunshot wound as law enforcement closed in on him, authorities said.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna on Sunday identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large. The motive for the attack remains unknown.

Here’s what we know so far about the suspect:

What we know about the Monterey Park mass shooting suspect

Hero who disarmed gunman speaks out

00:23 , Graeme Massie

Surveillance footage captured the terrifying moment a heroic 26-year-old wrestled a gun away from accused mass shooter Huu Can Tran before he could embark on a second horror shooting rampage in California.

The video shows Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, disarming Tran just minutes after the 72-year-old shot dead 10 victims at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in nearby Monterey Park.

“I needed to get the weapon away from him, disarm him, or else everyone else would have died,” heroic Mr Tsay told ABC News on Monday.

City of Monterey Park to hold vigil

Monday 23 January 2023 23:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The City of Monterey Park will hold a vigil on Tuesday 24 January at 5.30pm at city hall.

“We believe that it is important for our community to come together to remember and heal,” stated Mayor Henry Lo.

A memorial honoring the victims and survivors has already been established at the Monterey Park City Hall.

In light of the vigil event, the City Council is cancelling a previously scheduled Mayoral Installation/City Council Reorganisation Ceremony that was originally planned for Tuesday night.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Families of Monterey shooting victims remember loved ones

Monday 23 January 2023 22:30 , Oliver O'Connell

While the motive for the attack remains unknown, details are now emerging about the suspect and those who lost their lives.

The heartbroken families of the victims have begun to speak out and remember their loved ones. Here’s what we know about the victims so far:

Heartbroken families of Monterey shooting victims remember loved ones

Rep Chu thanks Biden for words of support

Monday 23 January 2023 22:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Democratic Rep Judy Chu has spoken with President Joe Biden and says she appreciates his support for the Monterey Park community at this time of “immense grief”.

Ms Chu represents California’s 28th District, which includes both Monterey Park and Alhambra.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Senator says more needs to be done on gun laws as motive remains unclear

Monday 23 January 2023 21:30 , Oliver O'Connell

At a Monday afternoon news conference, California Democrat Senator Alex Padilla called for stricter gun laws after Saturday’s mass shooting in Monterey Park.

He criticised the patchwork of firearms rules across the country and said the tragedy services a “reminder that more needs to be done”.

Mr Padilla was speaking with other elected officials, including Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis who praised 26-year-old ​​Brandon Tsay for disarming the gunman before more lives could be taken at the second dance hall.

“That young man is a hero,” she said.

Monterey Park’s chief of police Scott Wiese said they are still trying to understand the gunman’s motives adding: “I think we all want to find out why.”

“The why is a big part of this. The problem is, we may never know why.”

Watch: White House shares condolences

Monday 23 January 2023 21:10 , Oliver O'Connell

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Tran made decades-old allegations to local police earlier in January

Monday 23 January 2023 21:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Suspected gunman Huu Can Tran made a series of allegations to police near his home just two weeks ago.

Tran lived in the city of Hemet in Riverside County, approximately 86 miles from the Monterey Park dance studio where Saturday’s shootings happened. He formerly lived in San Gabriel, very close to the studio which he would visit frequently at the time.

Near the beginning of the month, he visited his local police department and made various allegations.

According to a statement from the Hemet Police Department:

Tran visited the Hemet Police Department lobby on January 7 and 9, 2023, alleging past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago. Tran stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but never returned.

City of Alhambra Lunar New Year celebration to go ahead

Monday 23 January 2023 20:40 , Oliver O'Connell

The City of Alhambra has announced that it will go ahead with its planned Lunar New Year celebration this coming Sunday, 29 January.

A statement released via Facebook says: “While we don’t have all the information on the motives of Saturday night’s tragedy, Sheriff Luna has confirmed it was not related to the Lunar New Year Festival and the suspect is no longer a threat to the community.

“Alhambra’s Lunar New Year Festival will still take place this Sunday, January 29th. The safety of our community is paramount, as such, additional resources from the Alhambra Police Department will be present.

“We look forward to our celebration and our community coming together.”

Death toll rises to 11

Monday 23 January 2023 20:23 , Oliver O'Connell

The death toll from this weekend’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, has risen to 11 after one of the wounded succumbed to their injuries.

LAC+USC Medical Center said in statement that one of the ten people injured and taken to local hospitals has died.

Our heroic staff at LAC+USC Medical Center have worked tirelessly to care for the four victims entrusted to our care. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we are saddened to share that one of the victims has succumbed to their extensive injuries. We want to express our deepest sympathies to their families and loved ones.

Of the remaining patients being treated at the medical centre, one remains in serious condition and two are recovering.

Don Jr slammed for claiming media ignoring shooting as gunman not white conservative male

Monday 23 January 2023 20:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Donald Trump Jr claims the media is ignoring the mass shooting in Monterey Park because it wasn’t carried out by a white conservative man with an assault rifle.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

This is despite it being the lead story on almost every network and above the fold on every major news website. One notable exception is FoxNews.com where the story sits approximately a third of the way down the page.

As victims are identified and families grieve, the eldest son of the former president felt the need to tweet: “You think you’d hear a lot more about the mass shooting of 10 people in California… But don’t worry you won’t hear anything about it because it wasn’t done by a white conservative man with an assault rifle. Doesn’t work for the narrative so it basically never happened!”

Twitter users were quick to clap back at him.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.
To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Monterey Park hosts one of California’s largest Lunar New Year celebrations

Monday 23 January 2023 19:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles and is composed mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting happened in the heart of its downtown where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner that proclaimed “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”

The celebration in Monterey Park is one of California’s largest. Two days of festivities, which have been attended by as many as 100,000 people in past years, were planned. But officials canceled Sunday’s events following the shooting.

Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park was stunned when he came out for his early morning walk to learn that the noises he heard in the night were gunshots.

“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought maybe it had something to do with Lunar New Year,” he said. “And we don’t even get a lot of fireworks here. It’s weird to see this. It’s really safe here. We’re right in the middle of the city, but it’s really safe.”

AP

Family of victim My Nhan releases statement

Monday 23 January 2023 19:08 , Oliver O'Connell

The family of My Nhan, 65, released a statement honouring “a loving sister, aunt, daughter and friend”.

Ms Nhan was one of the ten people killed at the Monterey Park dance studio on Saturday night.

The statement was shared on Twitter by Ms Nhan’s nephew’s wife, Tiffany Liou, a reporter for WFAA.

“Mymy Nhan was the first person shot and killed during the #MontereyPark mass shooting,” she wrote.

“I've covered a lot of tragedies, and never imagined one would hit so close to home. My husband's family is hurting beyond measure.”

The family statement reads: “It’s still sinking in what happened to Mymy. She spent so many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends. It’s what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance.”

“We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined her life would end so suddenly. Mymy was 65 years old. If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend.”

“Mymy was out biggest cheerleader.”

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Vigil planned for Wednesday evening

Monday 23 January 2023 19:00 , Oliver O'Connell

Local organisation Compassion in San Gabriel Valley is arranging a candlelight vigil at the site of the massacre in Monterey Park, California.

The event will begin at 6pm outside the Star Dance Studio with candle-lighting beginning at 6.30pm.

A post on the group’s Instagram reads: “Today was supposed to be the start of Lunar New Year – a time filled with celebration and joy, but instead today is filled with grief and loss.“We are deeply saddened by the tragic and senseless mass shooting that occurred in Monterey Park yesterday evening, and will be hosting a candlelight vigil this Wednesday, January 25th at 6pm. Join us as we remember, honor and grieve the lives lost to gun violence.“We are beyond heartbroken and are mourning for the victims, their families and friends.”

Watch: Brandon Tsay, who disarmed gunman, speaks to ABC News

Monday 23 January 2023 18:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Brandon Tsay, whose family owns the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, told ABC’s Good Morning America that he lunged at the shooter when he entered the venue armed and looking for people to shoot.

Mr Tsay said he was unaware at the time about the earlier attack in Monterey Park, where 10 people were killed and 10 others wounded.

“He started prepping the weapon and something came over me,” said the 26-year-old coder. “I realised I needed to get the weapon away from him. I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died.”

Initial reports suggested two people disarmed the gunman, but Mr Tsay’s family says security footage shows he acted alone.

Most of the dance attendees had left when the shooter entered the ballroom studio on Saturday night.

After a struggle in which they exchanged blows, Mr Tsay was able to seize the weapon and threatened to shoot the intruder unless he left.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

ICYMI: Newsom visits scene of tragedy

Monday 23 January 2023 18:00 , Oliver O'Connell

California Governor Gavin Newsom visited the scene of Saturday night’s shooting on Sunday. He met with local leaders and called for “real gun reform” to stop similar massacres.

To view this content, you'll need to update your privacy settings.
Please click here to do so.

Suspect's ex-wife speaks out

Monday 23 January 2023 17:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The former wife of shooting suspect Huu Can Tran, 72, has spoken out after police say her ex-husband killed 10 people and injured 10 more at a shooting on 21 January at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California.

Speaking to CNN, Tran’s ex-wife, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity surrounding the case, said she met him two decades ago at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio where Saturday’s massacre took place.

Read on:

Ex-wife of Monterey Park shooting suspect Huu Can Tran speaks out

Survivor recalls dance partner shielding her during attack

Monday 23 January 2023 17:10 , Oliver O'Connell

ABC News spoke with a survivor of the Monterey Park shooting who says he r 62-year-old dance partner shielded her from the attack and lost his life saving her.

The network reports:

The survivor, who identified herself as Shally, was dancing with her longtime friend and dance partner when the gunman walked in the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and opened fire.

She said she grabbed her dance partner and hid under a table. Her 62-year-old friend, whom she doesn't want to identify, was shot in the back and saved her during the shooting.

When the gunman left, she tried waking her dance partner up but she realized he had been shot.

Shally says she thought the terror was over after the first round of gunfire but she says the suspect went out and reloaded his weapon.

When the shooting finally stopped, two of her friends were dead and several others shot. The images and sounds are forever seared in her memory.

Mass shooting survivors and gun reform advocates react

Monday 23 January 2023 16:50 , Oliver O'Connell

High-profile survivors of mass shootings and gun reform advocates have reacted with horror and outrage after a gunman murdered 10 people at a Los Angeles dance hall on the eve of Lunar New Year.

Bevan Hurley report.

David Hogg, George Takei, Gabby Giffords and Simu Liu react to Monterey Park shooting

President Biden’s full statement following shooting

Monday 23 January 2023 16:30 , Oliver O'Connell

The White House released the following statement from President Joe Biden following the deadly shooting in Monterey Park.

Jill and I are thinking of those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. While there is still much we don’t know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds.

Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.

Early this morning, I directed my Homeland Security Advisor to mobilize full federal support to local and state authorities as they continue to respond and investigate this shooting. As we await more crucial information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can.

Coroner’s office names two victims

Monday 23 January 2023 16:12 , Oliver O'Connell

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has released the names of two of the ten victims of the Monterey Park shooting on Saturday night.

Both were women in their 60s — My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63.

The other victims are three other women and five men, nine of whom are in their 60s and 70s and one of whom was aged in her 50s, officials have said.

Unofficially, friends identified the first victim as the owner of the ballroom studio.

Ming Wei Ma, the studio owner and a dance instructor, heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre, a friend told CBS Los Angeles.

Aftermath and reaction to the shooting

Monday 23 January 2023 16:10 , Oliver O'Connell

Following the deadly shooting and attempted second attack, the second day of the Lunar New Year festivities was cancelled on Sunday, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Weise.

“The festival that occurred Saturday also extended to Sunday. Out of an abundance of caution and reverence for the victims, we are canceling the event that’s going to happen later today,” he told reporters.

Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office in LA, issued a statement in response to the shooting.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighbouring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” he said.

Monterey Park’s demographic data shows that just over 65 per cent of its population identifies as Asian, with Hispanic identifying people making up the next largest group at 28 per cent.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Sunday morning that Joe Biden had been briefed on the shooting and noted that FBI agents had been dispatched to investigate the attack.

Governor Gavin Newsom called the attack a “heartless act of gun violence”.

“Monterey Park should have had a night of joyful celebration of the Lunar New Year. Instead, they were the victims of a horrific and heartless act of gun violence. Our hearts mourn as we learn more about the devastating acts of last night. We are monitoring the situation closely,” he said.

On Sunday, he visited Monterey Park and issued a proclamation declaring Lunar New Year and ordering flags across all state buildings to be flown at half-staff in honor of the victims.

What do we know about the victims?

Monday 23 January 2023 15:50 , Oliver O'Connell

The wounded were taken to nearby hospitals in conditions ranging from stable to critical, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Five men and five women were among the dead.

The identities of the 10 victims killed in the attack are yet to be released by authorities, however friends have identified the first victim as the owner of the ballroom studio.

Ming Wei Ma, the studio owner and dance instructor, heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre, a friend told CBS Los Angeles.

“According to the chat, he was the first to rush the shooter,” said Eric Chen, adding that this was typical of Ma’s selfless nature.

“He was just caring, and other first, people first kind of person.”

Mr Chen added that it was “heartbreaking and it’s unthinkable that it would happen”.

Ming Wei Ma was the first victim to be identified (KCAL News)
Ming Wei Ma was the first victim to be identified (KCAL News)

Huu Can Tran: Everything we know about the suspect

Monday 23 January 2023 15:30 , Oliver O'Connell

Authorities believe Huu Can Tran, 72, acted alone and are not seeking anyone else in connection to the mass shooting.

The motive for the massacre remains unclear.

However, acquaintances have revealed that Tran used to be a regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and once complained that the instructors were saying “evil things” about him.

He also met his former wife at the studio, it has been revealed.

One friend, who knew Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s when they both attended the studio, said that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people” at the club.

The friend, who did not want to be named, told CNN that the suspect often complained to him that he thought the dance instructors didn’t like him and said “evil things about him”.

Authorities believe Huu Can Tran, 72, acted alone (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)
Authorities believe Huu Can Tran, 72, acted alone (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

At the time, Tran lived around a five-minute drive from the club and would visit it almost every night, he said.

The two friends hadn’t seen each other in years before Saturday’s shooting, he said.

Now, he said he is “totally shocked” to learn that he was allegedly responsible for the mass shooting as he voiced fears that some of his friends may be among the victims.

“I know lots of people, and if they go to star Studio, they frequent there,” he said.

Tran’s former wife, who also did not want to be named, told CNN that they first met at the Star Ballroom around two decades ago.

At the time, Tran was running informal dance lessons at the club and offered to give her free lessons, she said.

The pair wed soon after. Tran’s former wife said that the accused mass shooter was never physically violent with her but that he did have a short temper, especially if she missed a step while dancing with him.

She told the network that she felt that Tran then lost interest in her and he filed for divorce in 2005.

It is not clear if Tran was still attending the dance studio in the run-up to the mass shooting.

Investigators are now looking into Tran’s criminal and mental health history for clues as to what led to Saturday’s massacre.

In the aftermath of the shooting, law enforcement said that it was “too early” to determine if it was racially motivated, but told reporters “we will look at every angle as far as whether it’s a hate crime or not”.

“Everything’s on the table,” Mr Luna said of the ongoing investigation during a press conference prior to tracking down the suspect on Sunday.

“But, who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?”

City supervisor Hilda Solis confirmed that the victims were “of AAPI descent,” but said she could not say with certainty that the shooting was the result of a hate crime. “We’re waiting to see what our law enforcement and FBI have to say,” she told ABC 7.