On the night of Lunar New Year’s Eve, a 72-year-old man, Huu Can Tran, opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California. The shooting resulted in 10 deaths and 10 injuries. Tran fled the scene and was later found dead in a van in Torrance with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The motive for the shooting is still unknown, and an investigation is ongoing.
After the shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, Tran walked into a nearby studio, Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra. The suspect entered the studio with the intent to kill two more people, but was disarmed by community members who took possession of his weapon. Tran then fled the scene.
The manhunt for Tran began after the shooting at the dance studio. The authorities were able to locate the white cargo van that was seen leaving the scene of the shooting. When officers left their patrol vehicle to make contact with the occupant, they heard one gunshot come from the van. A SWAT team was then deployed and determined that the suspect had a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
During the search of the van, several pieces of evidence were found linking the suspect to both the dance studio and the studio in Alhambra. A handgun, which had stolen license plates, was found inside the van. The weapon taken by community members in Alhambra was a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol, with an extended magazine attached. This particular firearm with an extended magazine is illegal to possess in California.
The mass shooting in Monterey Park is one of the worst in recent memory in California. The community and the nation are struggling to make sense of the violence. The authorities are still trying to understand the motive behind the shooting and how the suspect was able to obtain the weapon used in the shooting. The investigation is ongoing.