Motive remains a mystery after suspected gunman in Lunar New Year mass shooting found dead – January 22, 2023


Police say this white van is connected to Saturday night’s mass shooting in Monterey Park. During a standoff Sunday in Torrance, the driver appears slumped over the wheel.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

A deadly mass shooting inside a Monterey Park dance studio led authorities to Torrance on Sunday, where the suspected gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a strip mall parking lot, law enforcement sources said. 

The manhunt began after the shooter opened fire inside Star Dance Studio on West Garvey Avenue around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, killing 10 people and injuring 10 others. It was Lunar New Year’s Eve.

Officials were also investigating an incident at another dance studio that may be related to the massacre, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said. 

About 20 minutes after the shooting in Monterey Park, an armed suspect walked into Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in nearby Alhambra, but “some individuals wrestled the firearm from him, and that individual took off,” Luna said.

Authorities have yet to reveal a possible motive for the shooting, including whether it was a possible hate crime or domestic violence incident.

“Everything is on the table,” Luna said. “Who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?”

An advisory from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department identified the suspect as an adult Asian man, about 5 foot, 10 inches and weighing 150 pounds. An image showed the man in a black leather jacket, beanie and glasses. Witnesses also described a white cargo van that was linked to the shooting.

Around 10 a.m. Sunday, Torrance police officers attempted to stop a vehicle near Hawthorne and Sepulveda boulevards that matched the sheriff’s description, a law enforcement source told The Times. The driver shot himself before officers could approach, the source said.

Images and aerial footage of the scene showed what appeared to be two bullet holes in the drivers-side window of the van and the driver slumped over the steering wheel. A SWAT team swarmed the vehicle around 1 p.m. 

“I don’t think anybody that woke up today, myself included, thought it would end up here in Torrance,” L.A. County Supervisor Janice Hahn said.

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