Crime & Justice

California mass shooting death toll climbs to 11

Los Angeles, Jan 23 (EFE).- The death toll from the mass shooting over the weekend in Monterey Park, California, has climbed to 11 after one of four people hospitalized with severe injuries died on Monday, authorities said.

In a statement picked up by local media, the hospital where that person was hospitalized – LAC + USC Medical Center, located in Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights neighborhood – confirmed the death and added that one other patient is in serious condition and two more are recovering from their injuries.

The victims of Saturday night’s shooting inside a dance studio were between the ages of 50 and 70, according to the New York Times.

The investigation is continuing and authorities are trying to determine what motivated a 72-year-old Asian man identified by police as Huu Can Tran to open fire during a ballroom dancing class at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, located 15 kilometers (9.3 miles) east of Los Angeles.

At the time of the shooting, thousands of people had gathered just meters from the establishment for a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, around 65 percent of whose population of roughly 60,000 are of Asian descent.

The attacker, whose used a stolen semi-automatic assault pistol in the attack, entered another dance studio – the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio – in the nearby town of Alhambra 20 minutes later.

But the suspect was disarmed there by the operator of that family-run dance hall – a man named Brandon Tsay who told authorities he had never seen a real gun before – and ended up fleeing the scene.

A manhunt was subsequently launched after local law enforcement agencies received word that the potential suspect had left the Alhambra studio in a white van.

That vehicle was later located by police in the city of Torrance, south of Los Angeles, and followed to a shopping center parking lot, where the alleged gunman was found dead early Sunday afternoon of a self-inflicted gunshot wound following an hours-long standoff with SWAT officers.

The shooting in Monterey Park occurred in the same week that another gunshot attack at a home in central California left six dead, including a 17-year-old mother and her 6-month-old baby.

California’s gun laws are among the strictest in the United States.

A person wanting to acquire a handgun must be 21 years old, pass a shooting test, provide identification and submit a request to the California Department of Justice. EFE

gac/mc

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