At least 10 people were killed and 10 others wounded in a shooting rampage at a dance club after a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, California, authorities said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department issued a brief statement saying the shooting was reported at 10:22 p.m. Saturday. The gunman remained at-large
“Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide detectives are responding to assist Monterey Park Police Department with a shooting death investigation,” the statement said. The initial death toll was nine; authorities later said 10 people had died.
Monterey Park is a city of 60,000 people about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The shooting took place shortly after a Lunar New Year’s celebration had brought thousands of people to the city, which has a majority-Asian population.
►Sheriff’s Capt. Andrew Meyer said Sunday that the shooter was male but provided no description or motive for the carnage.
►He said investigators were checking reports that an attempted shooting at a ballroom in Alhambra, a couple miles north of Monterey Park, of might be related.
►Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said the second day of the two-day celebration set for Sunday has been canceled “out of an abundance of caution and reverence for the victims.”
Some wounded in critical condition
Meyer said officers responded to a call of shots fired at around 10:30 pm local time.
“When officers arrived on scene they observed numerous individuals, patrons of the location, pouring out of the location screaming,” Meyer said. He said officers immediately entered the building, finding the dead and wounded. The wounded were taken to hospitals where their conditions range from stable to critical, Meyer said.
Video from the scene shows ambulances lined up awaiting people being loaded onto stretchers. Other photos showed bloodied and bandaged victims being treated by firefighters in a parking lot.
“The suspect fled the scene and remains outstanding,” Meyer said.
Shooter appeared to fire indiscriminately, witnesses says
Wong Wei, who lives nearby, told the Los Angeles Times that a friend had gone to the dance club that night with a group of friends. His friend was in the bathroom when the shooting started, Wei said. His friend came out and saw a gunman and the bodies of two women and a club manager, Wei said. The group of friends fled to Wei’s home, he said.
The shooter appeared to fire indiscriminately, his friends told him.
“They don’t know why, so they run,” he told the Times.
Lunar New Year
Lunar New Year, sometimes called Chinese New Year, is celebrated in several Asian countries, including China, Vietnam, North Korea, South Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia. Some traditions are shared, others are specific to those nations. It marks the beginning of the Lunar calendar year, and months are moon cycles.
This year the lunar year begins today, Sunday, kicking off the Year of the Rabbit (except Vietnam swaps a cat for the rabbit). Twelve animals take turns claiming the year on a rotating basis. Legend says the animals crossed a dangerous river in the following order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: California shooting: 10 killed after Chinese New Year celebration