Monterey Park mass shooting: What we know about 20 victims killed at dance studio

Monterey Park mass shooting: What we know about 20 victims killed at dance studio

Hours after mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, left 10 people dead and 10 others injured, details about the tragedy continue to emerge.

Police have yet to identify the gunman accused of opening fire in a ballroom dance studio on Saturday night, shortly after thousands of members of the Asian American community had gathered for Lunar New Year celebrations in the city outside Los Angeles.

The suspect, described only as a male Asian between 30 and 50 years old, remains at large after fleeing the scene of the shooting.

Responding officers arrived at the scene to find 10 people deceased, while 10 others were hospitalised.

Here’s what we know about the victims so far:

Who are the shooting victims?

The 10 victims killed and 10 others injured have not been identified by name as of midday Sunday.

The dead included five men and five women, officials announced at a press conference.

Those hospitalised were in conditions ranging from stable to critical.

It remains unclear whether any of the victims were targeted.

What we know about the shooting

On Saturday night, approximately seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles, visitors gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The two-day festival draws tens of thousands, making it one of the largest celebrations of its kind in the region, according to the paper.

Around 10.22pm, a man entered the dance club and began shooting. Police do not know if he was targeting individuals, firing indiscriminately, or both.

Seung Won Choi, the owner a seafood restaurant across the street from the ballroom, told the LA Times that party attendees fled the building and ran into his business, warning him to close and lock his doors.

Police arrived at the scene and found that the party-goers were already fighting to escape the building.

“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons … pouring out of the location, screaming,” he told reporters Sunday. “The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims.”

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said witnesses described the suspect as a male of Asian descent, between the ages of 30 and 50, though he noted during a Sunday press conference that descriptions were not consistent between all witnesses.

Mr Luna was not ready to report what kind of weapon was used.

Police also believe that an incident that occurred in the nearby suburb of Alhambra may be connected to the mass shooting.

Officers were seen clearing the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra around the same time that law enforcement was responding to the mass shooting in Monterey Park on early Sunday.

Mr Luna confirmed that the incident in Alhambra occurred after the shooting in Monterey Park.

Mr Luna said the suspect entered the studio with a gun, but was disarmed by patrons at the business.

“A male Asian suspect walked into a dance hall with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him and that individual took off,” Mr Luna said during a press conference on Sunday. “Some witnesses in that area are describing a white cargo van, we don’t know though at this time if it’s connected.”

Mr Luna confirmed that the police have seized the weapon from that encounter, and said the weapon “could be” the same one used in the shooting at Monterey Park.

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