Vice President Kamala Harris declared on Sunday that “this violence must stop” as she publicly joined in a mass shooting in Monterey Park that killed 10 people and injured 10 others.
Before giving a speech on abortion rights in Tallahasee, Fla., to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, Harris said she wanted to address “the tragedy of what happened in my home state.”
“Yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence,” said Harris, a former California senator and attorney general. “Everyone in this room and in our country understands that this violence must stop.”
A gunman opened fire Saturday night at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, about 7 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The shooting occurred as tens of thousands gathered nearby for the start of a two-day Lunar New Year festival, which Harris called “a time of cultural celebration.” The festival is one of the largest holiday events in the region.
LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said it was too early to say if the festival was related to the shooting.
Luna posted photos of a suspect on social media, identifying him as an Asian male, approximately 5ft 10in tall and 150lb in weight, who should be considered “armed and dangerous”. Images showed the man in a black leather jacket, a black and white snow hat and glasses.
President Biden tweeted Sunday he was “closely monitoring the situation as it develops” and urged the community to follow guidance from local authorities.
“Jill and I are praying for the dead and injured in last night’s fatal Monterey Park shooting,” he wrote.
Earlier on Sunday, White House officials said the president, who is spending the weekend at his vacation home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The president instructed her to “ensure that the FBI fully supports local authorities,” according to administration officials.
The vice president said she and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff joined the Bidens in “mourning those who have died, as we pray for those who were injured, and as we mourn the many people whose lives have been forever changed .”