January 24, 2023 - Monterey Park mass shooting

By Adrienne Vogt, Aditi Sangal, Leinz Vales, Maureen Chowdhury and Elise Hammond, CNN

Updated 9:42 p.m. ET, January 24, 2023
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9:33 a.m. ET, January 24, 2023

Son of Monterey Park shooting victim says his dad was not "the type to run away from danger"

Monterey Park shooting victim Valentino Alvero.
Monterey Park shooting victim Valentino Alvero. (Courtesy Val Anthony Alvero/Family Handout)

Val Anthony Alvero, the son of Monterey Park victim Valentino Alvero, told CNN that his dad was always upbeat and caring for others.

Alvero told CNN’s David Culver that his father hoped to retire in about a year and return to his native Philippines. In his free time, Valentino Alvero could be found at Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

"He'd dance around the house," Val Anthony Alvero said. "He loved that kind of stuff."

"He's not the type to run away from danger," he added.

Val Anthony Alvero said the emotion of anger hasn't surfaced yet against the suspected gunman.

"I don't think it adds anything to be angry to the situation ... I'd just like for better to come out of it," he said.

9:06 a.m. ET, January 24, 2023

"Something came over me": Man describes how he wrestled gun from shooting suspect

From CNN's Dakin Andone and Taylor Romine

Brandon Tsay speaks with Anderson Cooper Monday evening.
Brandon Tsay speaks with Anderson Cooper Monday evening. (CNN)

It was late in the evening Saturday when Brandon Tsay heard the “distinct sound of metal” in the lobby of Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, a dance hall in Alhambra, California, he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper Monday evening.

Tsay, whose family had owned the business for three generations, was working the ticket office when someone entered, and he knew quickly the silent and stoic man was trouble.

The man, who appeared to be scouting the room, then pointed a firearm at him, Tsay said.

Tsay froze as he saw the armed man – who authorities say had just opened fire at a Lunar New Year celebration at another dance studio in nearby Monterey Park, killing 11 people and injuring 10 others.

“I’m going to die. This is it. This is the end for me,” Tsay recalled thinking at that moment. “But then something happened. Something came over me.”

He lunged towards Tran and struggled with him for about 40 seconds, but he said it felt like “way longer.” Tran hit him several times on his face, the back of his head and on his back and hands, Tsay said.

“I was trying to divert the weapon away from me and the ballroom, down on the ground in case he did fire,” he said.

In those seconds, as his life was on the line, Tsay thought to himself, “If I let go of this gun, what would happen to me, the people around me, my friends, my family?”

Tsay was eventually able to pull the gun away from the gunman – the first time he ever held a gun – and told him to leave, he said.

“I threatened him that I would shoot,” Tsay said. “I thought I would have to kill him. That I would have to shoot a person.”

At first, the man looked like he was considering attacking Tsay again, but then left the lobby and jogged back to his van, said Tsay, who earlier shared his account on "Good Morning America."

After he left, Tsay immediately called police, still holding the gun in his hands.

Now Tsay is being hailed as a hero for stopping the man authorities say was responsible for devastating a majority Asian community on the eve of Lunar New Year. After opening fire inside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, the gunman went to the second dance hall in Alhambra, officials said.

Read more here.

Watch the interview here:

8:17 a.m. ET, January 24, 2023

L.A. County district attorney: Mass shooting seems to have been very targeted

The Star Ballroom Dance Studio is seen in Monterey Park, California, on January 23.
The Star Ballroom Dance Studio is seen in Monterey Park, California, on January 23. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

The gunman was "very familiar" with the dance studio in Monterey Park where the shooting took place, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón told CNN's Erin Burnett Monday.

"He has been part of that community, he met his ex-wife there," Gascón said on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. "There is certainly the appearance that this was targeted."

As far as how the gunman was able to get a hold of weapons — one of which was a modified semi-automatic firearm — that are considered illegal in California, Gascón said he "has been a gun enthusiast for many years," so it is possible he acquired some of the weapons before they were illegal in California.

7:53 a.m. ET, January 24, 2023

At least one Chinese citizen killed in Monterey Park mass shooting, consulate says

From CNN’s Beijing Bureau

People leave flowers and candles at the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, for the victims of the mass shooting on Monday.
People leave flowers and candles at the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, for the victims of the mass shooting on Monday. (David Crane/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News/Getty Images)

At least one Chinese citizen was killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting on Saturday, the Chinese Consulate General in Los Angeles said in a statement.

The statement didn’t specify how many Chinese citizens were among the 11 victims. 

“The serious shooting incident in the Chinese community is shocking and deeply regrettable,” the Chinese Consulate's statement read. The Chinese embassy and consulates in the US were ordered to lower their flags to half-staff.

The consulate also reminded Chinese citizens in its consular district to “raise risk awareness, strengthen security precautions, and ensure their own safety," according to the statement.

8:26 a.m. ET, January 24, 2023

Officials shared new details in its shooting investigation. Here's what we know now

From CNN staff

Monterey Park Police stand guard at the closed Lunar New Year festival site on Sunday, January 22 after a mass shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio Saturday night.
Monterey Park Police stand guard at the closed Lunar New Year festival site on Sunday, January 22 after a mass shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio Saturday night. (Sarah Reingewirtz/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News/Getty Images)

Officials are still investigating many of the details of the mass shooting Saturday that left 11 people dead in Monterey Park, California.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna and several other officials provided updates Monday while acknowledging they still don't have a motive for the rampage at a dance studio.

What we know so far is that the 72-year-old gunman walked into Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles neighborhood and opened fire shortly after a Lunar New Year celebration. The man then drove to a second dance hall in neighboring Alhambra where he entered with a firearm but fled after being disarmed, officials said.

The gunman died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday when his vehicle was approached by police officers.

Here's what else we learned:

  • The victims: Four of the 11 victims have been named so far. They are Xiujuan Yu, a 57-year-old woman, Valentino Alvero, a 68-year-old man, Mymy Nhan, a 65-year-old woman, and Lilan Li, a 63-year-old woman the Los Angeles County Coroner's office said. Officials said they are still working to notify the families of the other victims before identifying them.
  • The scene at the dance studio: The gunman fired 42 rounds of ammunition from a high-capacity handgun at the dance hall in Monterey Park, according to Luna. The sheriff said officials believe one person was shot outside of the studio in a vehicle before the gunman continued his rampage inside. Luna said they are "still putting it all together," including determining if the shooting was planned.
  • Search of the suspect's home: Investigators found a "few items of interest" at the shooter's mobile home — some of which led officials to believe he was "manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors," Luna said. Officials also found "hundreds of rounds of ammunition." The items, which now need to be thoroughly tested, according to the sheriff, were gathered from a search warrant that was executed earlier Monday.
  • No motive yet: The gunman's motive is still unknown, several officials said. The suspect had a "limited criminal history," according to the sheriff, noting an arrest in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm. Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said he believes the shooting seems to have been targeted, pointing to the fact that the gunman was "very familiar" with the dance studio where the shooting took place. People who knew the gunman told CNN that he used to go to the studio frequently.
  • Mass shootings in America: There have been 36 mass shootings in the United States so far in 2023. That's more than there have been at this point in any year on record. The shooting in Monterey Park was the deadliest attack since the Uvalde massacre in May 2022.