Monterey Park, California — Ten people were killed and at least 10 injured in a shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, Calif., on Saturday, police said.
On Sunday afternoon, SWAT teams surrounded a white cargo van believed to be associated with the shooting suspect. Live aerial footage shows the van sandwiched between two police armored vehicles of his.
A suspect is believed to be inside, although his name has not been released, police officials told ABC station KABC.
WATCH | Police provide afternoon update on Monterey Park shooting
“We believe there are people in the vehicle. We don’t know their condition, but we will deal with them in the safest way possible to identify them,” said Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wease. said at a press conference. “Is that our suspect? Probably.”
In addition to armored police vehicles, the van was surrounded by a large number of police officers, including SWAT members, many of whom had drawn their guns and were training in the van.
VIDEO | SWAT Team Surrounds Van in Torrance, May Be Linked to Monterey Park Shooting
At one point, SWAT officers approached and broke into the vehicle. A body was found in the driver’s seat, but it is unclear whether the person was the suspect in the shooting.
Police believe the person found in the driver’s seat died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, law enforcement officials told ABC News.
The confrontation in Torrance came when the Sheriff’s Department released surveillance images of the murder suspect, who said he wore a beanie and glasses and was about 5 feet 10 and 150 pounds.
LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said the suspect fled the scene and remained high profile.
Monterey Park is a small, predominantly Asian community of approximately 61,000 people.
“We’re going to use all available resources because we need to get this person off the streets,” Luna said.
WATCH: Police provide update after Monterey Park shooting
Luna declined to comment on possible motives, but said, “Everything is on the table.”
“I don’t know if this was a legalized hate crime,” Luna said. “Who walked into a dance hall and shot 20 people?”
Tony Lai, 35, of Monterey Park, went for an early morning walk and was stunned to discover that the noise he heard at night was gunshots.
“I thought maybe it was fireworks. I thought it might have something to do with Chinese New Year,” he said. “And there aren’t many fireworks here either. It’s weird to see this. It’s really safe here. We’re in the middle of the city, but it’s really safe.”
The dead victims were five men and five women, officials said at a press conference.
Officials said the shooting occurred shortly after 10 p.m. Saturday. The suspect West Garvey entered his Avenue ballroom and opened fire.
Lunar New Year celebrations were taking place nearby, but no shooting took place, officials said.
People fled the dance hall when deputies arrived, officials said at a press conference.
“We are serious about arresting this suspect and bringing him to justice,” said Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wease.
The motive is not yet known, and it is also unclear whether the suspect knew the victim. Injured victims were taken to local hospitals and were in varying conditions from stable to critically ill.
Police in the nearby city of the Alhambra were investigating an incident that may have been linked to the shooting. Breaking into the studio, some people there wrestled with weapons to escape him. Luna said a witness to the white cargo van found in the Alhambra incident was the “vehicle of interest” in the investigation.
The FBI has responded. White House Press Secretary Carine Jean-Pierre tweeted that President Joe Biden was briefed on the shooting.
“Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night’s deadly shooting in Monterey Park. We urge the community to follow guidance from government and law enforcement,” Biden said in a statement.
In a separate statement Sunday afternoon, Biden said, “While we still don’t know much about the motives for this senseless attack, many families are grieving tonight or their loved ones are recovering from their wounds. As we continue to search for answers to this attack, we know how much impact it has had on the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of America’s largest AAPI communities There was one, many of whom were celebrating Chinese New Year with their loved ones…and friends this weekend.”
The president added to his homeland security adviser, “I have directed local and state officials to mobilize the full support of the federal government to respond to this shooting and to continue the investigation.”
“We want to assure the Monterey Park community and the wider community that we will support you in any way we can,” Biden said.
In an early warning sent to Washington, investigators said they “didn’t know who the suspect was,” Pierre Thomas, ABC News’ chief legal correspondent, told ABC’s This Week.
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland was also briefed on the shooting, according to a Justice Department statement.
The city was hosting the Monterey Park Lunar New Year Festival this weekend to mark the beginning of the Chinese lunar calendar. His annual two-day street festival draws crowds, with previous celebrations drawing as many as 100,000 visitors each day, according to the city.Saturday’s event was scheduled to end at 9pm
The festival was canceled on Sunday. If you have information, please call the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Division at (323) 890-5500. If you prefer to provide information anonymously, you can call Crime Stoppers by dialing (800) 222-TIPS (8477).
The tragedy is not only the fifth mass murder in the United States since the beginning of the year, but also the deadliest since May 24, when 21 people were killed at a school in Uvalde, Texas, according to the Associated Press/USA Today mass database. It was also the deadliest.murder in america
The database also shows that 2022 was one of the worst years in the country in terms of genocide, with 42 such attacks, the second highest number since the tracker’s creation in 2006. am. Including the perpetrator.
The latest riots come two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.
ABC News contributed to this report.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
This is a developing story. Please check the latest information.
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https://abc7ny.com/mass-shooting-monterey-park-lunar-new-year-news/12725363/ Police release photo of Monterey Park shooting suspect after 10 dead near 122 Garvey Ave after Lunar New Year event.live