9 dead in mass shooting near Los Angeles after Lunar New Year festival

9 people killed in Monterey Park shooting

9 people killed in Monterey Park shooting


At least nine people are dead after a mass shooting at a business in a city east of Los Angeles late Saturday following a Lunar New Year celebration that attracted thousands, police said.

The shooting in Monterey Park was reported at 10:22 p.m. and occurred at an unspecified business on Garvey Ave., Sgt. Bob Boese of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The shooter is a male, Boese said early Sunday. It was unclear if he was still being sought, was captured or was among those who had been killed.

Boese did not name the business but said it was in the 120 block of Garvey Ave. One business along that block is Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where an event called “Star Night” was held from 8 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., according to a calendar on its website.

Police stand guard at the scene along Garvey Avenue in Monterey Park, California, on January 22, 2023, where police are responding to reports of multiple people shot.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Local resident Wong Wei told the Los Angeles Times his friend had been at the club, and she had been in the bathroom when the shooting erupted. When she emerged from the bathroom, she saw a gunman and three bodies — two women and one person who he said was the boss of the club.

The friend then fled to his home at around 11 p.m., Wei said, adding that his friends told him that the shooter appeared to fire indiscriminately with a long gun. “They don’t know why, so they run,” he told the newspaper.

Officials provided no information for several hours after dozens of police officers responded to reports of the shooting.

Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 residents with a large Asian population about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

Seung Won Choi, who owns the Clam House seafood barbecue restaurant across the street from where the shooting happened, told the Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his business and told him to lock the door.

The people also told Choi that there was a shooter with a gun who had multiple rounds of ammunition on him. Choi said he believes the shooting took place at a dance club.

The shooting occurred near where thousands of people had attended a Lunar New Year celebration. Saturday was the start of the two-day festival, which is one of the largest Lunar New Year events in Southern California.

One neighbor told CBS Los Angeles the gunshots sounded like fireworks, but due to the celebrations in the area, he did not think much of it at the time. 

Videos posted on social media showed people being loaded onto stretchers and placed into ambulances. Other photos showed bloodied and bandaged victims being treated by Monterey Park firefighters in a parking lot.

Seung Won Choi, the owner of a nearby seafood restaurant, told the Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his restaurant. The people, he said, said there was a gunman with a semiautomatic gun who had reloaded after opening fire.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia said in a tweet.

It marked the fifth mass shooting in the U.S. this month and the deadliest since 21 people were killed in a school in Uvalde, Texas, according to The Associated Press/USA Today database on mass killings in the U.S. The latest violence comes two months after five people were killed at a Colorado Springs nightclub.

The United States saw 647 mass shootings last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive website, defined as an incident with four or more people shot or killed, not including the shooter.

The U.S. has more weapons than people: one in three adults owns at least one weapon and nearly one in two adults lives in a home where there is a weapon.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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