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California | Seven dead in new shooting targeting Asian community



(Half Moon Bay) Police are investigating in California on Tuesday a new shooting in the Asian community that killed seven people on farms on Monday, following the killing of 11 people at a nightclub last weekend including the motive has still not been clarified.

“I am in the hospital to meet victims of a mass shooting when I am taken aside to inform me of another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy after tragedy,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Twitter.

A 67-year-old individual named Chunli Zhao, suspected of being the perpetrator of the attacks at two farms near San Francisco, has been taken into custody, according to San Mateo County Police Chief Christina Corpus. .

The seven victims are Chinese agricultural workers and an eighth person was seriously injured, she said, adding that a semi-automatic pistol was found in the arrested man’s vehicle.

The tragedy came less than 48 hours after a man burst into the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, 600 kilometers south, on Saturday night, where he fired 42 rounds and killed 11 men and women, all over 50 years old.

After this carnage, which also left 9 injured, the shooter, Huu Can Tran, 72, had tried to continue his murderous evening in another dance hall not far from there, but had been disarmed there before fleeing and commit suicide in his van, surrounded by the police.

“No mobile”

Many gray areas remain about this suspect. His criminal record only mentions an arrest in 1994 for illegal possession of a firearm, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.

“We still have no motive,” the sheriff admitted Monday at a press conference.

Investigators are currently exploring the links between the killer and the two dance halls, in particular the relationship he had there, according to the Los Angeles Timeswhich cites police sources.

On Sunday, a local entrepreneur had already mentioned to AFP the track of possible jealousy to explain this massacre.

“The wife was invited to the party, but the husband could not be invited,” said Chester Chong, an acquaintance of a dance instructor. “And the husband might be angry and jealous. »

“Type without history”

Many residents remained in disbelief on Monday in this city of 60,000 souls near Los Angeles, with an Asian majority, renowned for its tranquility.

Huu Can Tran had emigrated to the United States from China, told CNN his ex-wife, met two decades earlier in this same Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

The couple got married quickly, but the union did not last. He was not violent, according to her, but he sometimes lost patience if he felt humiliated, if she missed a dance step for example.

According to a former friend, also interviewed by the American channel, the killer assiduously frequented the dance hall, where he was nevertheless “hostile towards many people”, whom he accused of saying “nasty things about him”.

His mobile home in Hemet, nearly 140 km east of Los Angeles, was searched, Luna said, adding that a gun and ammunition had been found.

President Joe Biden has expressed his outrage and ordered the federal flags to be lowered to half-mast.

“So Sudden”

Visiting Monterey Park on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom castigated the uncontrollable proliferation of guns in the United States.

“It’s a shame,” slammed the Democrat. “We should do better than that, we should lead the way for the world, not just respond to these countless crises and express, again and again and again, these damn prayers and condolences. »

About 49,000 people died from gunfire in 2021 in the United States, compared to 45,000 in 2020, already a record year. This represents more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides.

The Los Angeles medical examiner identified four of the victims: My Nhan, 65, Valentino Alvero, 68, Xiujuan Yu, 57, and Lilan Li, 63.

“We enter the Lunar New Year with broken hearts. We did not imagine that she could die so suddenly,” My Nhan’s family said on social media.

Died Sunday in Torrance, about 45 km from Monterey Park, Huu Can Tran could have made more victims without the heroism of an employee of the establishment, not far from there, where he intended to continue his massacre.

“My heart stopped” when the killer aimed his gun with a high capacity magazine, said Brandon Tsay, 26, at the New York Times. “At that moment, it was the instinct for survival” that took over and he successfully threw himself on the individual, preventing further carnage.

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