Biden Expresses Condolences to Victims and Families, Pledges Federal Support to Monterey Park Community
At least ten people have died and ten more have been injured in a shooting that occurred at the end of the Chinese New Year celebrations in a dance hall in the city of Monterey Park, east of Los Angeles, as confirmed by the Sheriff’s Office. of Los Angeles County.
The injured have already been transferred to health centers with different prognoses, from stable to critical, according to Andrew Meyer, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office, quoted by the CBS affiliate, KCAL News.
The incident began approximately an hour after the conclusion of the celebration, around 10:30 p.m. local time (7:30 a.m. in mainland Spain), when most of the tens of thousands of attendees had already left, according to witnesses cited by the media. angelino.
In fact, some witnesses have reported that they believed that the shots were fireworks, so at first they did not give them much importance.
“When the agents arrived they saw many individuals leaving the premises screaming. The agents entered and found several more victims,” Meyer explained. Firefighters then confirmed ten fatalities.
The also spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, Robert Luna, has appeared at a press conference to report that the authorities have identified the man responsible for the mass shooting as a man of Asian origin, Huu Can Tran, 72 years.
After a first press conference by Luna, the Police have located a white van, in which at least two bullet holes could be seen in the driver’s window, while the driver seemed to be slumped over the steering wheel.
Multiple police sources have indicated that the driver of the vehicle had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, despite the fact that the authorities do not know at the moment the reason for the event. “The investigation continues: we want to know how something so horrible can happen,” Luna said.
Inside the vehicle, they found a stolen gun and license plates, evidence linking the suspect to the places where he would have attacked, since, after shooting in a dance hall in Monterey Park, the attacker entered another dance hall in the Alhambra neighborhood.
Seoung Won Choi, owner of a seafood grill restaurant located next to the scene of the first incident, has told the ‘Los Angeles Times’ that three people broke into the premises and asked him to close the door. They reported then that there was an individual with a machine gun who also had several clips to continue shooting. The attacker apparently fired indiscriminately.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 whose population is predominantly Asian (67 percent) and Latino (27 percent) in origin. More Chinese New Year-related events were scheduled this Sunday, but they have been canceled “out of precaution and out of respect for the victims,” said Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese.
“THIS VIOLENCE MUST END”
The President of the United States, Joe Biden, has announced that “as a sign of respect for the victims” of Monterey Park, he has ordered the country’s flag to fly at half-mast at the White House, as well as in other public buildings until Thursday.
The US president and first lady, Jill Biden, have conveyed their condolences to the victims of the shooting, which they have dismissed as “senseless”.
“While there is still much we don’t know about the reason for this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight or praying for their loved one to recover from their injuries,” reads a White House statement.
Biden, who has lamented the impact of this attack on the Asian American and Native Hawaiian community, has pledged support for the Monterey Park community, arguing that he has directed the National Security Adviser to mobilize federal support for local authorities while they investigate the event.
Meanwhile, the country’s vice president, Kamala Harris, has declared — before delivering a speech on the right to abortion in Florida — that “this violence must end.”
“Yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence. All of us in this room and in our country understand that this violence must stop,” said the former California senator.