The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department has released photos of the suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting.
Sheriff Robert Luna tweeted photos of the man and noted that investigators identified him as a homicide suspect who should be considered "armed and dangerous."
View the tweet:
3:08 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
Police are in a standoff in Torrance believed to be connected to the Monterey Park mass shooting
From CNN’s Josh Campbell and Paul P. Murphy
There is an ongoing police standoff in Torrance, California, that is believed to be associated with the investigation into the Monterey Park shooting, a law enforcement source tells CNN.
Torrance is a city in Los Angeles County's South Bay region, located about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park.
An employee at a store across the street from the standoff told CNN they were told to lockdown.
The employee said they have been on lockdown since around 11:45 a.m. local time, when a police officer came in and told them to remain inside. The employee said the entire shopping complex, which includes a PetSmart, Walmart and Hobby Lobby — in addition to other smaller stores — is locked down.
Customers and employees are currently hunkered down inside the store until they receive an all clear.
3:08 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
Stop AAPI Hate calls mass shooting in Monterey Park "a nightmare"
From CNN's Natasha Chen in Monterey Park, Calif. and Michelle Watson
Stop AAPI Hate released a statement following the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, that killed 10 people Saturday night, calling it "a nightmare."
“After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare. This is devastating beyond words," the coalition said in a Sunday news release. "We cannot imagine the pain that so many families are experiencing today."
"At Stop AAPI Hate, many people on our staff know this community well and feel connected to it. Our hearts are with the loved ones of all those whose lives were taken, those who were injured, and the countless others who were shaken by fear that no one should have had to experience," the statement continues.
"This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shockwaves through our community," the statement continues. "As we struggle to process the pain, we must also work to prevent this from ever happening again.”
Stop AAPI Hate describes itself as, "a national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the U.S."
Another 10 people were wounded and hospitalized, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.
Here's what we know about the deadly shooting:
The attack: The shooting happened at 10:22 p.m. local time (1:22 a.m. ET) at a dance studio near a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park, California, according to the sheriff's department. Monterey Park is in Los Angeles County's San Gabriel Valley. Star Ballroom Dance Studio, which a CNN analysis identified as the specific venue, is located on West Garvey Avenue, between Garfield and Alhambra avenues in the community.
The victims:Five men and five women were killed in the shooting, Luna said. At least 10 others were wounded and "were transported to numerous local hospitals and are listed in various conditions from stable to critical," according to the sheriff's department.
The gunman: Early information suggests the shooter may be an Asian man between the age of 30-50, the sheriff said, adding that witnesses provided varying descriptions. Authorities did not specify the type of weapon used in the attack, but said they did not believe it was an assault rifle.
The investigation: 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. Luna echoed that assessment, saying "everything's on the table" and promising detectives would look at "every possibility."
A second incident nearby: A gunman showed up at a dance studio in neighboring Alhambra about 20-30 minutes after the mass shooting in Monterey Park, and the sheriff said that investigators are looking into whether the two incidents are linked. The sheriff said a group of people managed to disarm the gunman at the second studio, located just a few miles from the massacre. The man fled, and authorities seized the weapon that he had been carrying. The sheriff reiterated that it wasn't yet clear whether the man had any connection to the Monterey Park shooting.
Community in grieving: While officials investigate the motive, the massacre's impact has already been deeply felt among one of the largest Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the US. “After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare. This is devastating beyond words. We cannot imagine the pain that so many families are experiencing today," Stop AAPI Hate stated in a news release. "Many people on our staff know this community well and feel connected to it. Our hearts are with the loved ones of all those whose lives were taken, those who were injured, and the countless others who were shaken by fear that no one should have had to experience."
1:52 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
Sheriff says it's still too soon to rule out hate crime as a possible motive in Monterey Park attack
"We don't know if this is specifically a hate crime defined by law," Luna said at a briefing on the mass shooting.
The attack happened at a ballroom near a Lunar New Year event Saturday night.
"Everything's on the table," Luna said of the ongoing investigation. "But, who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?" the sheriff questioned.
"The description we have now is of a male Asian — does that matter? I don't know," said Luna. "I can tell you that everything's on the table," he emphasized.
"Our detectives are looking at every possibility with our partners," the sheriff added.
According to Luna, the sheriff's department is working on an updated suspect description and expects to release that at some point Sunday.
He said at the briefing that investigators had received differing descriptions of the shooter from witnesses. The only other information he could provide as of late Sunday morning was that the gunman was believed to be 30 to 50 years old.
Monterey Park is a predominantly Asian community, and instructors at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio told CNN the venue was a gathering place for the local Chinese community.
1:51 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
Instructors from Star Ballroom Dance Studio say the venue was a gathering place for local Chinese community
From CNN's Jeffrey Winter
Dance instructors at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, called the venue a gathering place for the local Chinese community.
The studio hosts a variety of classes and private lessons, which instructor Oleksandr Kamniev said focus on ballroom dancing and Latin standards. The studio also rented out its ballroom space — which has an area for karaoke — for private parties.
"For parties, it's a big thing," Kamniev said, adding that sometimes as many as 300 people attended. "A lot of Chinese people love to come here."
Kamniev estimated "99%" of Star's dance students were Chinese, and ranged in age from 4 to 75. Sundays, he said, were usually kids' days at the studio.
Kamniev and his wife, Kateryna Kamnieva, taught Latin dancing at the studio for several years. They were not present at the shooting.
Kamniev and his wife said they believed the studio owner was at the venue Saturday night. They said they reached out to her and were waiting to hear back when they spoke with CNN.
12:57 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
"This could have been so much worse," Rep. Judy Chu says on Monterey Park mass shooting
From CNN's Michelle Watson
Rep. Judy Chu, who represents Monterey Park, California, praised the first responders and honored the victims of a Saturday night mass shooting that left 10 people dead.
"My thoughts and condolences go to the victims of this horrific crime," Chu said.
"This could have been so much worse — only hours earlier, all of us were together only one block away at the Lunar New Year festival," she said, while thanking first responders and local authorities. "All of us standing right here were there, and there were thousands there."
"It's horrible that such a thing could occur at a time of celebration for so many in the AAPI community and in the Asian community worldwide," she added. "This is a time to be with family, to celebrate, and yet this tore a hole through all of our hearts."
Despite the tragedy, Chu, who said she's been a resident of the area for 37 years, knows how strong the community is.
"Monterey Park is resilient. And what I know about the people here is that we will get through this together," the lawmaker said.
The city is a predominantly Asian community and had plans for major Lunar New Year celebrations to continue through Sunday. Those plans have been scrapped, the city said.
12:33 p.m. ET, January 22, 2023
Biden says he's closely monitoring Monterey Park mass shooting
From CNN's Jasmine Wright
President Joe Biden said he is monitoring the aftermath of the mass shooting that killed 10 people in Monterey Park, California, “closely as it develops,” in Sunday morning tweet.
“Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night’s deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park,” the president said. “I’m monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and urge the community to follow guidance from local officials and law enforcement in the hours ahead.”
The White House announced earlier that the president was briefed by Homeland Security Adviser Liz Sherwood-Randall and that he directed her to “make sure that the FBI is providing full support to local authorities,” while providing him regular updates.
The Bidens remain at their vacation home in Rehoboth Beach and are expected to return to Washington, DC, on Monday.