As investigators continued to search for a motive for the weekend mass shooting that left 11 dead in Monterey Park, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the city Wednesday to meet with the families of the slain victims, while calling on Congress to enact “reasonable” gun laws. -control measures.
Harris arrived at Los Angeles International Airport shortly before 4:30 p.m. and was greeted by officials including Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo, Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass and County Sheriff Robert Luna. He then traveled in a motorcade to Monterey Park, where he placed flowers on a growing monument outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where the Saturday night shooting occurred.
Speaking to reporters outside the dance studio, he denounced a spate of mass-victim shootings across the nation since the beginning of the year, saying that while it’s important to support the victims, “we must also demand that our nation’s leaders who have the ability and power and responsibility to do something, to act.”
“California has been a courageous leader on smart gun safety laws, but we also need Congress to act,” he said, adding that the nation needs a “uniform approach” that protects Second Amendment rights but that includes “reasonable gun laws.
After spending eight minutes in the Memorial Ballroom, Harris headed to the Langley Senior Center to meet with the families of the victims and first responders.
A vigil, the third in three nights in the city, was also held Wednesday night outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. The vigil was organized by the group Compassion in SGV, and follows vigils on Monday and Tuesday nights in front of Monterey Park City Hall.
Meanwhile, investigators continued to gather evidence as they tried to determine what led a 72-year-old man to fatally shoot 11 people and wound nine others Saturday night in the deadliest mass shooting in Los County history. Angels.
Ten people died at the scene of the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, near Garfield Avenue. An eleventh victim later died at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center.
The coroner’s office identified all of the victims Tuesday as:
— Mi Nhan, 65;
–Lilian Li, 63;
— Xiujuan Yu, 57;
— Muoi Ung, 67;
— Hong Jian, 62;
— Yukao, 72;
— Chia Yau, 76;
–Valentino Alvero, 68;
— Wen Yu, 64;
–Ming Ma, 72; Y
–Diana Tom, 70
Ming Ma was a popular instructor and owner of the dance studio, friends said.
The shooter, identified by Luna as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a white pickup truck that was pulled over by Torrance police Sunday afternoon. A handgun was recovered from the van, along with other possible evidence linking it to the dance studio murders, Luna said.
But the mystery remained what led Tran to open fire inside the dance studio after a day of celebrating the Lunar New Year in Monterey Park.
Luna said Monday that investigators have not determined a motive for the shooting.
“We want to know as much as all of you and we are working very hard to achieve it,” he said.
There were some initial reports, citing law enforcement sources, that the man had been looking for his wife or partner in the studio.
Some media reports also suggested the shooter was targeting specific people, possibly explaining why he went to a second dance studio in Alhambra after the initial shooting, looking for more people he wanted to target.
Police in the Hemet community in Riverside County, where Tran lived, said Monday that he went to the Hemet Police Department twice in early January “alleging prior fraud, theft and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago. Tran said that he would return to the police station with documentation on his accusations, but he never returned.
Investigators searched Tran’s Hemet home Sunday night. Luna said items found in the home included a .308 caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of .308 and 9mm caliber ammunition and “items that lead us to believe the suspect was making homemade firearm suppressors” or silencers.
Luna said investigators recovered 42 bullet casings inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, indicating the number of shots fired at the scene of the massacre that occurred at 10:22 p.m. Saturday. A high-capacity magazine was also recovered.
Luna confirmed that one of the victims, possibly Nhan, was shot outside the dance studio and found inside a vehicle. Luna said that person was likely shot before the suspect entered the studio.
Luna described the weapon used in the murders as a “magazine-fed semi-automatic assault pistol.”
About 17 minutes after the Monterey Park attack, Tran entered the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in the 100 block of South Garfield Avenue in neighboring Alhambra.
Luna speculated that Tran was going to try to kill more people there, but employee Brandon Tsay, 26, whose family runs the studio, confronted Tran and took his gun, prompting him to leave.
The weapon taken from Tran at Alhambra was a 9mm MAC-10 semi-automatic assault weapon, Luna said.
On Sunday afternoon, more than 12 hours after the shooting, Torrance police located a white pickup truck matching the suspect’s vehicle near Sepulveda and Hawthorne boulevards and attempted to stop traffic. The van pulled into the parking lot.
Much of a mall around the corner from the Del Amo Fashion Center. As the officers approached, they heard a single gunshot from inside the vehicle.
Police then maneuvered two BearCat SWAT vehicles into each end of the van, crashing into it, while several police vehicles parked nearby to provide additional support.
Authorities entered the van shortly before 1 p.m. and found a man slumped in the driver’s seat, dead from a gunshot wound. Luna said there was no initial evidence that any law enforcement officer fired a weapon. She said the van driver was Tran.
On Monday, Luna said a handgun was recovered inside the van, along with “clothing the suspect wore during the commission” of the Monterey Park shooting.
Saturday’s mass shooting was the deadliest shooting in the United States since the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, in May, which left 22 people dead, including the perpetrator.
Anyone with more information about the shooting is asked to call sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500 or leave anonymous tips on the Crime Stoppers line at 800-222-8477.