Los Angeles police responded to a shooting that killed several people in Southern California. The shooting occurred near a site where the Lunar New Year had just been celebrated in Monterey Park, a city of some 61,000 inhabitants of majority Asian origin, located about 13 km east of the center of Los Angeles. . There were “many” casualties, The Los Angeles Times reported, citing a police source. Authorities announced a death toll of nine.
Deaths and injuries are to be deplored, according to City News Service, a reputable local news agency, citing the authorities without giving a toll. The agency added that the shooting occurred about an hour after a Lunar New Year party ended. “It’s an isolated incident,” a sheriff’s deputy told City News Service.
AFP journalists on the spot saw a strong police presence and the places, overflown by helicopters, were forbidden to access. According to press reports, the shooting occurred at a dance hall around 10 p.m. on Saturday evening, an hour after the Lunar New Year holiday. Tens of thousands of people had gathered earlier in the day for the two-day Lunar New Year festivities, which are among the largest in Southern California.
A suspect on the run
Monterey Park resident Wong Wei told the Los Angeles Times that his friend was in the club and was in the bathroom when the shots broke out. When she came out she saw an armed man and three bodies, two women and a person she identified as the club boss.
The daily also quotes Seung Won Choi, the owner of a nearby restaurant, as saying that three people ran into the establishment and told him to lock the door. These three people said that there was a man with a semi-automatic rifle and loaded with ammunition who reloaded his weapon regularly, the restaurateur told the newspaper. “The suspect has fled the scene and remains nowhere to be found,” Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office Capt. Andrew Meyer told reporters in Monterey Park.