January 22, 2023 Monterey Park mass shooting news

By Aditi Sangal, Matt Meyer, Maureen Chowdhury, Veronica Rocha, Seán Federico O'Murchú and Meg Wagner, CNN

Updated 12:01 a.m. ET, January 23, 2023
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9:02 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

Sheriff says weapon seized from gunman at 2nd location is "assault handgun" that may be illegal in California

From CNN's John Miller and Matt Meyer

The gun wrestled away from the suspected Monterey Park shooter at a second location Saturday night is a Cobray M11 9mm semi-automatic, according to a law enforcement official with knowledge of the case.

At a news conference Sunday evening, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna described the gun as a "magazine-fed, semiautomatic assault pistol" with an extended, large-capacity magazine.

This style of firearm is designed to take 30-round magazines that allow for rapid fire without having to frequently change magazines.

In response to a reporter's question, Luna said: "I believe the weapon ... is not legal to have here in the state of California."

The sheriff added that he still needed to consult the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for further details on the weapon's legality.

CNN's law enforcement source said the weapon helped lead investigators to the suspect.

They seized the weapon at a dance studio in Alhambra, California, where officials say the suspect from the Monterey Park shooting arrived within 20 to 30 minutes of the massacre. He was confronted by a group of people who disarmed him.

Detectives traced the gun and were able to obtain the suspect's name and description, the law enforcement source said. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff with police in Torrance, California.

Luna did not say whether authorities had confirmed that the "assault pistol" was the weapon used in the Monterey Park shooting.

8:52 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

"They saved lives": Police chief praises heroes who disarmed suspect at a second location

The suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting was disarmed by two people when he went to a second location on Saturday night, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.

Luna had earlier disclosed that a male Asian suspect had walked into a dance hall in Alhambra and that "some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him."

"Remember, the suspect went to the Alhambra location after he conducted the shooting (in Monterey Park), and he was disarmed by two community members who I consider to be heroes," Luna said at a news conference Sunday. 

"They saved lives. This could've been much worse. The weapon that we recovered at that second scene I am describing as a magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol. Not an assault rifle, but an assault pistol that had an extended large capacity magazine attached to it," he added.
8:39 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

7 victims of Monterey Park mass shooting remain hospitalized

From CNN’s Chris Boyette

Seven people remain hospitalized after a gunman opened fire at a Monterey Park, California, dance studio, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters Sunday night.

Ten people were killed in the shooting, which happened near a Lunar New Year festival celebration.

Authorities have not released the names of any of those killed or injured in the mass shooting.

8:53 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

"Several pieces of evidence" inside van linked suspect to mass shooting, police say

A coroner official investigates the scene of a van believed to be tied to the Monterey Park ballroom shooting on Sunday.
A coroner official investigates the scene of a van believed to be tied to the Monterey Park ballroom shooting on Sunday. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

Police discovered "several pieces of evidence" inside a van used by the suspect that linked him to the location of the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday night, police said Sunday.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said evidence that linked the suspect to Monterey Park, as well as to nearby Alhambra, was discovered as police searched the vehicle after the suspect died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

In addition, a handgun was discovered inside the van, he said.

Luna had earlier said that a group of people wrestled a gun away from an armed man at a dance studio in Alhambra shortly after the Monterey Park shooting, and police were investigating whether the incidents were related.

8:33 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

Man found dead after police standoff in Torrance was the Monterey Park shooting suspect, sheriff says

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said investigators have confirmed that the man found dead inside a white cargo van after a standoff with police in Torrance, California, is the same person suspected of carrying out a mass shooting in Monterey Park Saturday night.

Luna said that after the standoff, officers found the man dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Luna identified the suspect as Huu Can Tran, 72.

Officials also believe Tran was the gunman disarmed by a group of people at a dance studio in Alhambra, California, shortly after the mass shooting Saturday night, the sheriff said.

Evidence found in the van where Tran died linked him to both the Alhambra and Monterey Park scenes, according to Luna, who said there are "no outstanding suspects" linked to the massacre.

8:40 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

NOW: Officials give an update on the Monterey Park mass shooting

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna speaks during a press conference about the shooting in Monterey Park, California on Sunday.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna speaks during a press conference about the shooting in Monterey Park, California on Sunday. (KCAL/KCBS)

A news conference with law enforcement officials to discuss the mass shooting in Monterey Park is underway at Monterey Park City Hall.

The speakers are expected to include Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, Homicide Bureau Captain Andrew Meyer and Monterey Park Chief of Police Scott Wiese, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

8:07 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

Biden offers condolences following Monterey Park shooting: "Many families are grieving tonight"

From CNN's Betsy Klein

Joe Biden speaks in Washington, D.C., on Thursday April 21, 2022. 
Joe Biden speaks in Washington, D.C., on Thursday April 21, 2022.  (Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden offered his condolences following the shooting in Monterey Park, California, that killed at least 10 people Saturday night at a dance studio near a Lunar New Year festival celebration.

"While there is still much we don't know about the motive in this senseless attack, we do know that many families are grieving tonight, or praying that their loved one will recover from their wounds," Biden said in the statement. 

Biden acknowledged the impact on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community as officials continue to investigate a motive. (Remember: It’s too early to say whether the massacre was a hate crime because the motive remains unknown, said Capt. Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.)

"Even as we continue searching for answers about this attack, we know how deeply this attack has impacted the AAPI community. Monterey Park is home to one of the largest AAPI communities in America, many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend," he said.

Biden reiterated that he has called for full federal support for local and state authorities. 

"As we await more crucial information from law enforcement, I want to assure the community of Monterey Park and the broader area that we will support you in every way we can," he concluded.

7:20 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

LA Times: Person in white van who engaged in standoff with police died from self-inflicted gunshot wound

Law enforcement surrounds a white van in a parking lot that is being investigated for a possible connection to the earlier Monterey Park mass shooting in Torrance, California on Sunday.
Law enforcement surrounds a white van in a parking lot that is being investigated for a possible connection to the earlier Monterey Park mass shooting in Torrance, California on Sunday. (Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the driver of the white van believed to be tied to Monterey Park ballroom shooting is dead.

Multiple law enforcement sources told The Times that the driver died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and at least two bullet holes had been visible in the driver’s-side window in the moments prior to their approaching the vehicle.   

CNN crews on the scene in Torrance have yet to see the driver removed from the van since SWAT teams made entry.  

Earlier Sunday, law enforcement sources told CNN’s John Miller that preliminary information from the ground in Torrance was that the police attempted to do a car stop of a white cargo van, which fit the description of a vehicle of interest from the Saturday night shooting in Monterey. As they commanded the occupant to exit the van, they heard and believed the driver might have shot himself. 

In the last hour, Torrance-area community leaders held a news conference and referred questions about the fate of the driver and the incident’s possible connection to the mass shooting to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office. 

 

6:30 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023

Torrance officials refer all questions to Los Angeles counterparts following cargo van standoff

From CNN’s Chris Boyette 

Officials in Torrance, California, held a press conference Sunday after a police standoff involving a white cargo van potentially linked to the Monterey Park mass shooting.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn and Torrance Mayor George Chen thanked law enforcement for their work.

When Hahn, Chen and Torrance Police Department Sgt. Ron Salary were asked about what happened, the status and whereabouts of the driver of the cargo van and the incident’s possible connection to the mass shooting, all questions were referred to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Officials in Los Angeles will hold a news conference a 4:30 p.m. PT local time (7:30 p.m. ET).