United States: The gunman who killed 10 people at the Los Angeles-area dance club fatally shot himself in a van as officers closed in, according to reports.
Authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee after people thwarted his attempt at a second shooting.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran and said no other suspects were at large. Speaking at an evening news conference, he added that the motive remained unclear for the attack, which wounded 10 more.
Luna did not have the exact ages of the victims but said they all appeared to be over 50. Seven of the wounded people remained in the hospital, he said.
The sheriff added that the suspect was carrying what he described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran was found dead.
Also speaking at the news conference, Congresswoman Judy Chu said she still has questions about the attack, “What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he gets these guns and was it through legal means or not?”
Earlier Sunday, law enforcement officials swarmed and entered the van after surrounding it for hours before going in. A person’s body appeared to be slumped over the wheel and was later removed from the vehicle.
Luna previously released photos of an Asian man who was believed to be the suspect.
The manhunt came after the gunman opened fire at the ballroom dance studio late Saturday amid Lunar New Years celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park. He likely tried and failed to target a second dance hall, authorities said.
The van was found in Torrance, another community home to many Asian Americans, about 22 miles (34.5 kilometers) from that second location.
The shooting sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year festivities around the country. Other cities sent extra officers to watch over the celebrations.
“The community was in fear thinking that they should not go to any events because there was an active shooter,” Chu said, adding that she hopes residents now feel safe: “You are no longer in danger.”
Luna said the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park left five women and five men dead and wounded another 10 people. Then 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra.
The suspect entered the Alhambra club with a gun, and people wrested the weapon away from him before he fled, Luna said.
Hours earlier, Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee from Alhambra in such a vehicle.
Members of a SWAT team entered the van a short time later and looked through its contents before walking away.
The massacre was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month. It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
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.
(With inputs from AP)