All 11 victims of the Lunar New Year mass shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, were between the ages of 57 and 76, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the coroner’s office released the identities of five men and six women. The female victims were Yu Xiujuan, 57; Hong Jian, 62; Li Lilian, 63; My Ren, 65; May Weng, 67; and Diana Tom, 70. The male victims were identified as Wen Yu, 64; Valentino Alvero, 68; Ma Ming, 72; Yu Kao, 72; and Jiayou, 76.
The city’s mayor said the community faces a long road to recovery as investigators work to determine a motive.
“People are just in disbelief and shock and are very numb,” Mayor Henry Lo told CNN on Monday night.
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Saturday night’s shooting came as the city’s predominantly Asian community celebrated the Lunar New Year, turning one of the most auspicious days on the calendar into a tragedy.
“There’s a lot of fear and anxiety out there. People are afraid of a situation where our joyful Lunar New Year celebration is completely upended into tragedy and fear,” said Rep. Judy Chu, who represents Monterey Park, said Monday during a candlelight vigil for the victims.
Gavin Newsom, California, was meeting with shooting victims on Monday when he was pulled away for a briefing on another deadly mass shooting in Half Moon Bay — in three days in the state second mass shooting. “Tragedy after tragedy,” Newsom tweeted.
Authorities revealed new details Monday as they searched for the home of Monterey Park shooting suspect Huu Can Tran, 72, in Hemet, about 80 miles east of Monterey Park.
Detectives executed a search warrant and found “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition, a . · Luna (Robert Luna) said.
Still, it was unclear what motivated Saturday night’s attacks at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and later at the Lai Lai Ballroom as investigators looked at the trove of ammunition they found.
“Was it planned by him? Was it that day? Was it the week before?” Luna said at a news conference on Monday. “We don’t know. But we intend to find out.”
Three people who knew Tran, including his ex-wife, told CNN that he used to be a familiar face at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where he taught informal dance classes. But it’s unclear how often, if ever, he’s visited in recent years, and authorities are still investigating whether Tran knew any of the victims.
“It was clearly targeted,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told CNN. familiar.”
Mayor Rowe said Tuesday he hopes the ballroom will again be a safe place for the community.
“It’s a place where people socialize, learn to dance,” he said. “We want to make sure this ballroom continues to thrive and people feel safe to socialize.”
The shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio happened around 10:22 p.m. Saturday. According to Sheriff Luna, the gunman fired 42 rounds from a semi-automatic pistol in the ballroom before leaving the scene.
At least one person was shot in a car outside the dance, and police believe Tran shot the person first before entering the dance studio and opening fire on the crowd, the sheriff said.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Weiss said Monterey Park Police arrived at the studio within three to four minutes of arriving at the scene of the “massacre” as people were injured and others poured from the venue.
About 20 minutes after the shooting, the suspect — still armed — showed up at a second dance studio in the nearby Alhambra. On Monday, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper, where a 26-year-old civilian accused him and wrested the gun from him, saving countless other lives.
“I just had this thought and the adrenaline rush. I came to the conclusion that I needed to do something, I needed to pick up the gun. I needed to save myself and the people in it,” Tsay said.
After the suspect fled, Tsay called police and investigators tracked down Tran’s firearm, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case. The weapon was described as a 9mm semi-automatic MAC-10 pistol with an extended high-capacity magazine, according to Luna, who added that the assault weapon appeared to have been modified.
High-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds have been banned in the state of California.
Less than a day later, Tran was found dead in a white van in Torrance, 30 miles away, when a SWAT team swarmed him. The sheriff said he died following a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators also recovered the suspect’s registered Norinco 7.62 x 25 handgun inside the van, Luna said.
As authorities also investigate Tran’s history, ballistic and forensic comparisons will need to be made of all items recovered from the alleged shooter’s home.
So far, sheriffs have said the suspect has a “limited criminal history,” noting that he was arrested in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.
Rep. Judy Chu said the gunman who killed 11 people Saturday night “took them away from their families on what should be a joyous night of Chinese New Year.”
Two Taiwanese Americans were also among the victims, according to the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Taiwan’s de facto diplomatic representative in Los Angeles.
According to the consulates of both countries in Los Angeles, at least one of the victims was a Chinese national, and one of the victims, Alviro, was a Filipino-American citizen.
alvero’s He told CNN his father He had hoped to retire back to the Philippines in about a year, and he said his father spent his spare time in a dance studio.
“He would dance around the house,” Val Anthony Alvero said of his father. “He likes that kind of stuff.”
Nhan, known as “Mymy,” loved to dance and spent years at the dance studio where she was killed, according to a statement from her family.
Maksym Kapitanchuk, Nhan’s dance instructor, told CNN she was happy to be with her.
“She’s always smiling,” Kapitanchuk said. “I don’t even think I’ve ever seen her not smiling — even through the mask I could see her smiling eyes. She was the joy of the whole class, any party, any class.”
During Monday’s vigil, leaders described the shock and loss felt throughout the Monterey Park community.
“It’s so apt,” said Chun-Yen Chen, executive director of the Asia Pacific Community Fund.
Community members join dancing grandparents to celebrate Lunar New Year in the ballroom on Saturday. “Now some of them are no longer with us,” she said.
Many leaders praised the community for coming together after the tragedy.
“We will not let this murderer defeat us,” former council member Mike Engel said at the vigil. “We’ll go forward with more passion and more love because the only thing that can conquer hate is love.”