Los Angeles Police Department responded to a shooting that killed ten people in Southern California. The shooting happened near where the Lunar New Year was being celebrated in Monterey Park, a city of about 61,000 that is mostly Asian and about 8 miles east of central Los Angeles.
“Police entered the area and located additional victims,” said Capt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office. The emergency services “treated the injured and declared the deaths of 10 of the victims on the spot”. “There are at least 10 other victims who have been transported to multiple local hospitals and are in stable to critical condition,” he added.
AFP journalists saw a heavy police presence at the scene and access to the locations overflown by helicopters was banned. According to press reports, the shooting happened at around 10 p.m. Saturday night, one hour after the Lunar New Year holiday, at a dance hall. Tens of thousands of people had gathered earlier in the day for the two-day Lunar New Year celebrations, among the largest in Southern California.
A suspect on the run
Monterey Park resident Wong Wei told the Los Angeles Times his friend was at the club and in the bathroom when the shooting erupted. When she came out, she saw an armed man and three bodies, two women and a person she identified as the club boss.
The daily also quotes Seung Won Choi, the owner of a nearby restaurant, as saying that three people ran into the restaurant and told him to lock the door. Those three people said there was a man with a semi-automatic rifle and loaded ammunition who regularly reloaded his gun, the restaurateur told the newspaper. “The suspect fled the scene and is nowhere to be found,” Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office told reporters in Monterey Park. Police did not provide a description of the suspect or the type of weapon he used.