Another mass murder in the US.
The manhunt started twelve hours prior to the incident when an individual — identified by authorities as Asian — started shooting at a bar located in Monterey Park, a city located in Los Angeles County with a significant Asian community.
Witnesses reported that the man opened fire on the club in a rash manner and was very well-armed.
A total of 10 others were injured, many were critically injured.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna reported that the police responded to emergencies shortly after 10:00 pm on Friday (0600 GMT Sunday) and saw people pouring out of the area.
“Unfortunately,” he added, paramedics “did declare 10 victims dead at the scene”.
Five of the victims were women , and five men officials claimed, but without naming the ages of the victims or ages.
Luna has also reported on a different incident that occurred in the close by Alhambra just 20 minutes later. In that incident, an Asian man armed with an assault weapon entered the dance studio, but was beaten and disarmed. The man fled, and there were no injuries discovered.
Alhambra is located about two miles (three kilometers) northwest from Monterey Park. Luna stated that the police were looking into whether the two incidents had anything to do with each other.
Violence against guns is a major issue across the United States which last year saw 647 mass shootings and at least four victims shot or killed by shooters as per the Gun Violence Archive website.
The standoff between police and the van began late on Sunday in Torrance, located to the south to Los Angeles, with the Los Angeles Times reporting shots were fired from the site.
It culminated with heavily-armed police, accompanied by armored vehicles, who swarmed the white van and smashed the windows of the passenger side with their guns raised.
Aerial footage revealed what appeared to look like the human body lying slumped on the seat of the car.
Luna previously said she had reported that a “tactical event” was in progress.
“We believe there’s someone inside that vehicle. We aren’t sure of their health however we’ll handle this in the most secure way that we are able to determine who it is.
“Could it be the case that we suspect? Possibly.”
Images published by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department of their main suspect revealed the Asian man with glasses and a beanie.
Monterey Park, only a few miles away from the city of Los Angeles, is home to about 60,000 residents, mostly Asian and Asian American.
“We aren’t sure whether this is an offense that is defined as a hate crime as a crime under the law.” Luna said, “but who goes into the dance floor and shoots up 20 others?”
Sheriff’s deputies from Monterey Park remained at the location according to an AFP reporter reported, with decorations to celebrate this Lunar New Year hanging incongruously between tapes of the police.
A sign on the street that was hung above reads “Happy Year of the Rabbit”.
The President of the United States Joe Biden tweeted that he along with his wife Jill have been “praying for those who were killed and wounded in yesterday’s mass shooting fatality on the streets of Monterey Park”, adding, “I’m monitoring this situation closely.”
The Monterey Park shooting is the most fatal in the country since a gunman at Uvalde, Texas killed 22 students at an elementary school in May.
Monterey Park resident Wong Wei said to the Los Angeles Times his friend was in the bathroom of the dance club when the shooting began.
As she walked out, she saw an individual carrying the long gun and shooting randomly. Two bodies of women and a man were lying on the ground.
The newspaper stated that Seung Won Choi, who is the owner of a nearby restaurant, reported that three customers had come into the restaurant and asked him to secure the doors.
The trio told Choi that there was an individual who was using semi-automatic guns who had numerous rounds of ammunition and was constantly loading.
Tens of thousands were already gathered for an event that lasted for two days, the Lunar New Year festival, one of the largest in the region. The planned events for Sunday were canceled following the terrorist attack.
“My heart breaks for the families of the victims and the residents who live in my town,” Representative Judy Chu, who was the ex-mayor of Monterey Park, said on Twitter.
Chu was present there at the scene, and was part of the festivities just hours before the shooting . The crowd was still huge. “This could be so much more tragic,” she said.
The police were examining surveillance footage and were not sure if this suspect targeted a specific segment of.
In the year 2000, a gunman from China targeted an Taiwanese Church in California in California, killing one and injuring five others according to police. The suspect was motivated by the political conflicts in the region between Beijing as well as Taipei.
The US Department of Justice said there were more that 7,000 hate crimes reported across the United States in 2021, the majority of them relating to race.
Alongside the incident in California shooting, 12 other victims were wounded in an overnight shooting at a nightclub located in Louisiana Local media reported.
Over 44,000 individuals were killed from gunshot injuries in 2022 in the United States, more than 50% of these were suicides.