Authorities searched for a motive for the gunman who killed 10 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club during Lunar New Year celebrations, slayings that sent a wave of fear among the Asian American communities in the region and cast a shadow over festivities nationwide.
The suspect was found Sunday, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van in which authorities say he fled after his second attempt of shooting Saturday night was thwarted by the people.
The massacre was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were shot dead in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large. Luna said the motive remained unclear for the attack, which wounded 10 people, seven of whom were still hospitalized. Speaking at a Sunday evening news conference, the sheriff said he didn’t have their exact ages but that all of the people killed appeared to be over 50.
The suspect was carrying what Luna described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran died.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said Sunday that within 3 minutes of receiving the call, officers reached the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park. There, they found carnage inside and people trying to flee through all the doors. Around 20 – 30 minutes after the first attack, the gunman entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby city of Alhambra. But people wrested the weapon away from him and witnesses said he fled in a white van, according to Luna.