Ten people were killed and as many others injured in a mass shooting in a largely Asian city in southern California, police said on Sunday. The suspect is still absconding.
The accused opened fire indiscriminately with a semiautomatic weapon at a dance venue in Monterey Park, as the local community were celebrating Lunar New Year, eyewitnesses said.
“The suspect fled the scene and remains outstanding," Captain Andrew Meyer of LA Sheriff’s Department.
He said officers had responded to emergency calls at around 10:20 pm on Saturday and found people pouring out of the premises. “The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims," he said.
“There are at least 10 additional victims that were transported to numerous local hospitals and are listed in various conditions from stable to critical," he added.
Police, however, gave no description of the suspect, and did not say what kind of gun he used.
Visuals posted on social media showed victims being transported to the hospital in Monterey Park.
Footage showed emergency staff treating casualties on the scene and police guarding cordoned-off streets.
NOW: One of the many victims being transported to the hospital following mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.Gunman allegedly still on the loose after shooting spree. pic.twitter.com/Tr50mIYnri
— Upward News (@UpwardNewsHQ) January 22, 2023
Monterey Park is a city in Los Angeles County, around 7 miles (11 kilometres) 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 Angles 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 machine gun who had multiple rounds of ammunition on him so he could reload. Choi said he believes the shooting took place at a dance club.
‘Looking at every angle’
Meyer said detectives did not know whether the suspect knew his victims or whether it was a targeted attack.
“We will look at every angle," he said, adding officers were reviewing surveillance footage.
“It’s just too early in the investigation to know whether this incident was a hate crime or not," he told reporters.
Investigators were also checking reports that an attempted shooting at a similar setting in the neighbouring city of Alhambra was related, Meyers said.
(With agency inputs)
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