A gunman killed 10 people and injured 10 others Saturday at a dance studio in Southern California during Lunar New Year celebrations.
Twenty to 30 minutes later, a man armed with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom at nearby Alhambra, but patrons wrestled the gun away from him and he fled, authorities said.
Despite police not disclosing the suspect’s identity or race, some liberals on Twitter were quick to pin the horror on white supremacy and anti-Asian hatred before all the facts were known.
Senator Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., tweeted, “We must stand up to bigotry and hate where they rear their ugly heads, and we must continue to work to end gun violence.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Saturday’s shooting was “a horrific example of unnecessary gun violence. With bigotry against AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islander) individuals as a possible motive.”
Meanwhile, many Twitter users #StopAsianHate condemned the violence and underscored their tweets with “#StopAsianHate.”
Wisconsin State Representative Francesca Hong shared her condolences for the victims, tweeting, “We are broken as a nation to allow mass shootings and white supremacist terror to reign.”
While not all details were known on Sunday afternoon, authorities say the suspected shooter was an Asian man between the ages of 30 and 50.
Authorities said on Sunday they know the suspect’s name but declined to release it because it could complicate their ability to apprehend him. They released a photo showing an Asian man wearing glasses and a beanie. The image was taken from the attempted shooting in Alhambra.
Chester Chong, president of the Los Angeles China Chamber of Commerce, told TBEN 7 the mass shooting was about a “domestic dispute.”
At noon Sunday, police in tactical vehicles and explosives trucks surrounded a white van in a parking lot in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park. A law enforcement source told TBEN News that a person in the van committed suicide.
Hours earlier, Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee Alhambra in such a vehicle.
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The sheriff declined to say what type of weapon was recovered from Alhambra. He said investigators believe the gun used in Monterey Park was not an assault rifle.
The shooting and manhunt sent a wave of fear through Asian-American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over New Year’s celebrations across the country.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles, made up mostly of first-generation Asian immigrants from China or Asian Americans. The shooting took place in the heart of downtown, where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner reading “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”
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The shooting took place at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from City Hall on Garvey Avenue, Monterey Park’s main thoroughfare, which is lined with small business malls whose signs are in both English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are both widely spoken, Chinese holidays are celebrated, and Chinese films are regularly screened in the city.
The The Bharat Express News contributed to this report.