TThe US has been rocked by the deadliest mass shooting since 21 young children and teachers were killed in the May 2022 mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Ten victims were killed and another ten injured when a gunman opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, Calif., on Saturday night, shortly after thousands of members of the Asian-American community gathered outside for the city’s Lunar New Year celebrations had Los Angeles.
The suspected gunman Huu Can Tran, 72, died Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound when police surrounded him in his white van, authorities said.
The motive for the attack is unknown and it is not clear if Tran knew the victims.
Now details are emerging about the suspect and those who lost their lives. The heartbroken families of the victims have begun speaking out and paying tribute to their loved ones. Here’s what we know about the victims so far:
Who are the victims of the shooting?
Authorities have started to publicly identify the 10 killed and 10 others injured. It was initially reported that the dead were five men and five women.
It was revealed on Monday that nine were in their 60s and 70s and one woman in her 50s.
Two of the women were named by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office as Mymy Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63.
Nhan’s family publishes a heartbreaking statement on Monday
“She spent so many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends. She was happy to do that. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance. We start the new lunar year broken. We never thought her life would end so suddenly. Mymy was 65 years old. If you knew her, you knew that her warm smile and kindness were congruent. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.”
The first victim, unofficially identified by friends, was the ballroom studio owner, who heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre.
Ming Wei Ma owns Star Dance Studio and has worked there as a dance teacher for many years.
His friends told CBS Los Angeles that he was the first to rush towards the shooter as he began to open fire at the club.
“According to the chat, he was the first to attack the shooter,” Eric Chen said, adding that it was typical of Ma’s selfless nature.
“He was just caring, and others first, people first type of person.”
Mr. Chen added that it is “heartbreaking and unthinkable that it would happen.”
It remains unclear if any of the victims were attacked and if the suspect knew them before the attack.
Those hospitalized were in conditions ranging from stable to critical.
What we know about the shooting
On Saturday night, about seven miles east of downtown Los Angeles, visitors gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The two-day festival attracts tens of thousands and is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the region, according to the newspaper.
At around 10:22 p.m., a man entered the dance club and started shooting.
Seung Won Choi, the owner of a seafood restaurant across from the ballroom, said so LA times These party attendees fled the building and ran into his shop, warning him to close and lock his doors.
Police arrived at the scene and found that the partygoers were already struggling to escape the building.
“When officers arrived at the scene, they observed numerous people, well-wishers … pouring out of the scene screaming,” he told reporters on Sunday. “Officials entered the site and located other victims.”
Ten people were killed in the attack and another ten were hospitalized with various injuries.
Police said about 20 minutes later a gunman entered a second dance studio – the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in – at the nearby Alhambra.
There, a group of heroic patrons managed to wrestle the gun away from the gunman, who then fled the scene. No one was injured in the second incident.
A massive manhunt has been launched to track down the shooter of the worst mass shooting in the US since 21 young students and teachers were killed in a massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
On Sunday, investigators located Tran after witnesses to the Alhambra incident reported seeing a white van at the scene and surveillance footage of the suspect was leaked to the public.
About 12 hours after the mass shooting, officers had spotted him driving the van through Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a news conference Sunday that Tran pulled into a parking lot when police stopped the van.
“As officers got out of their squad car to contact the occupant, they heard a shot from the van,” the sheriff said.
SWAT teams surrounded the vehicle before approaching the van and finding Tran dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he said.
Evidence found in the vehicle is said to link the 72-year-old to the shooting.
Authorities believe Tran acted alone and are not looking for anyone in connection with the mass shooting.
The motive for the attack is still unclear.
Tran was a regular at Star Dance Studio for years and had previously complained about teachers making “nasty” comments about him, people who knew him told CNN. He also met his ex-wife at the club, sources told CNN.
It is not clear if Tran visited the dance studio in the run-up to the mass shooting or if he knew any of the victims.