(Monterey Park) Investigators are looking Monday for the motive for the shooting that killed ten people Saturday night at a California nightclub in the United States.
The alleged perpetrator died Sunday in Torrance, about 45 km from Monterey Park where the shooting occurred, after a chase with the police. “The suspect sustained gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene,” local sheriff Robert Luna said.
He described a manhunt that ended with a shot being fired from inside the suspect’s white van, who therefore apparently committed suicide.
The 72-year-old Asian suspect has been identified as Huu Can Tran.
He was the only suspect in the shooting, Luna said, adding that the motive for the attack, which occurred on Lunar New Year’s Eve, was not yet known and an investigation was ongoing.
The majority of the approximately 60,000 inhabitants of Monterey Park, a city located near Los Angeles, are of Asian origin.
“All avenues are being considered,” according to Sheriff Luna. Investigators have not yet determined whether the victims were targeted because of their origins. “We don’t know if this is a hate crime as defined by law.”
After killing 10 people and injuring 10 others, the alleged shooter went to another nearby nightclub, but was disarmed there by two people, before fleeing.
The sheriff paid tribute to these two people, explaining: “I can tell you that the suspect entered, probably with the intention of killing more people, and two brave members of the community decided to take action and disarm him”.
“They took possession of his weapon and the suspect fled. »
The weapon found is not an assault rifle, but “a semi-automatic assault pistol with a magazine […] to which was attached a high-capacity long-life magazine, ”detailed the sheriff.
United States President Joe Biden has ordered the lowering of flags adorning public buildings.
“While there is still a lot we don’t know about the motive for this senseless attack, we know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying for their loved one to recover from their injuries.” Mr. Biden in a statement.
It is the deadliest shooting in the country since a gunman killed 21 people in May at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
Shocked and in disbelief-
Responding to initial emergency calls at 10:20 p.m. Saturday (1:20 a.m. EST Sunday), officers found 10 deceased people at the nightclub, five women and five men, most over the age of 50 years.
At least 10 other injured people were later hospitalized in “stable to critical” condition.
According to CCTV footage, the shooter was an Asian male wearing a beanie and wearing glasses.
On Sunday, in front of the police cordon in Monterey Park, many residents filmed the scene with their smartphones, while traders dismantled the Chinese New Year market after the cancellation of the festivities.
Shocked and in disbelief, many still found it hard to believe that such a massacre could have taken place in this predominantly Asian suburb, renowned for its tranquility.
Lakers jersey on the back, David Kwan had heard the news in the morning. “It’s sad,” sighed this security guard of Malaysian origin, still amazed. “I often face violence, but elsewhere in Los Angeles. This is the first time I see her in my own community. »
On Saturday evening, tens of thousands of people had just gathered near the scene of the shooting in Monterey Park for the Lunar New Year festivities.
According to the owner of a nearby restaurant quoted by the Los Angeles Times, three people ran into his establishment at the time of the shooting and asked him to lock the door.
The United States pays a very heavy price for the spread of firearms in its territory and the ease with which Americans have access to them.
Thus, this same Saturday evening in Louisiana, in the south-east of the country, 12 people were wounded by bullets in a nightclub, according to local media.
About 49,000 people died from firearms in 2021 in the United States, compared to 45,000 in 2020, which was already a record year. This represents more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides.