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Sheriff: Gunman who killed 11 didn’t know dance hall victims

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — The 72-year-old gunman who killed 11 people by spraying a ballroom dance hall in Southern California has no known connections to the victims and investigators have no motive for the massacre. was trying to find out. , the Los Angeles County Sheriff said Wednesday.

Before Saturday night’s shooting, Huu Can Tran parked his bike just a block away from the Monterey Park ballroom. Investigators believe he planned to use it as a backup getaway vehicle. The police seized the motorcycle.

Tran opened fire on a crowd of mostly elderly dancers at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, killing 11 and injuring nine, police said.

The massacre, which was supposed to be a joyful Lunar New Year celebration, sent ripples of terror into the Asian-American community, already coping with the growing hate and violence directed at them.

According to some reports, Trang frequented dance halls and believed himself to be an instructor, while Luna had not been there for at least five years and appeared to specifically target victims. Said there wasn’t.

“So far, we have not been able to establish a relationship between the suspect and the victim,” Luna said.

Luna explains how long Tolan planned to attack a city about eight miles (12.8 kilometers) from downtown Los Angeles, and how long Tolan had spent time reloading his weapon, firing at least 42 rounds of bullets. He said it was not clear why the . MAC-10 semi-automatic machine pistol with a 30-round magazine.

Tran’s motive was to continue to evade detectives in the days after the tragedy as they searched piles of items and documents seized from Tran’s home and the van he fled from, the sheriff said.

“It doesn’t make sense,” said Luna. “It really isn’t.”

About 20 minutes after the Monterey Park massacre, Tolan entered another dance hall in the Alhambra, about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) away. Tran then shot himself inside the van where his body was found on Sunday morning.

Tran, who is of Vietnamese descent and lived in Hong Kong, lived in the United States for seven to eight years. He purchased a machine pistol in Monterey Park in 1999, but it was not registered in California. Guns and high-capacity magazines are illegal in California.

Luna said Tran used a registered semi-automatic pistol when he committed suicide, and a registered bolt-action rifle was found at Hemet’s home, about 70 miles (112 km) from Monterey Park. His only known criminal record was an arrest for illegal possession of a firearm in 1990, but there were no signs of a conviction.

On Wednesday, Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wease warned the public that the killer was on the run for hours, saying he didn’t have enough information at the time to effectively warn residents. defended his decision not to.

Wiese said police in the area were wary, but even after learning the suspect may have targeted a nearby dance club after the massacre, the city, which has a predominantly Asian-American population He said it would not make sense to send warnings to residents of the city at night.

“I’m not going to go door to door with cops to wake people up and tell them I’m looking for a male Asian in Monterey Park,” Wiese told the Associated Press. “It does us no good.”

The shooting at 10:22 pm on Saturday came just an hour after tens of thousands of people attended the city’s Lunar New Year celebrations. The mass shooting was not notified to the public over his five hours, raising questions as to why warnings were not sent to people in the area.

Wiese, who took office two days before the shooting, said the police had pieced together information from about 40 witnesses, many of whom did not speak English, and were misinformed. “I don’t want to spread it,” he said. He said he was able to disseminate the information by notifying other local, state and federal agencies.

Less than 48 hours later, a Northern California gunman shot eight fellow farm workers and killed seven at a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay. The shooter was of Chinese descent and most of the victims were Asian.

Outside the locked gates of Monterey Park’s Star Dance Studio, the monument was elevated Wednesday with piles of bouquets and balloons. Hundreds of people with flowers, candles and incense turned up for the vigil.

Marlene Xu gathered with her fellow dancers by a row of flower-decorated photographs of victims. Xu said she danced four times a week in the studio and spent days and nights in tears after the assault.

“It’s hard for us because it’s part of my life,” she said. “It’s like a part of your life is gone.”

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the memorial Wednesday and brought her own bouquet of flowers before heading to a seniors’ center to speak with relatives of the victims. They stopped in front of each of the large rose-framed placards containing their names and names.

Speaking briefly to reporters, Harris conveyed his sentiments on behalf of President Joe Biden and called on Congress to enact stricter gun control laws.

“Sadly, we keep saying the same thing,” Harris said. “Can they do something? Yes. Should they do something? Yes. Will they do anything? That’s where we all have to speak up.”

Pope Francis, in his message to the Archbishop of Los Angeles, was among those who expressed condolences, saying, “I beg for God’s gift of healing and consolation to the wounded and the bereaved.”

Wiese has seen a lot in his 30-year career, but some of the first officers on the scene were newcomers who had never faced such carnage, and the trauma is unforgettable. would like to

Paramedics were loading the injured into an ambulance and treating others inside when the chief arrived. There was a corpse every ten feet. Some were lying on the table, others were sprawled on the dance floor.

“It’s hard to put into words,” he said. “It takes your breath away when you look at it. And it kind of burns the image into your brain.”

___

Melley reported from Los Angeles. San Diego Associated Press journalist Julie Watson contributed to this report.

https://fox40.com/news/national/ap-us-news/ap-sheriff-gunman-who-killed-11-didnt-know-dance-hall-victims/ Sheriff: Gunman who killed 11 didn’t know dance hall victims

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