SWAT Operation Ends in California Shooting Investigation

A van is surrounded by SWAT personnel in Torrance Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)

(The Washington Post/LA Times) — After a tense standoff, armed police entered a white van that may have contained the man suspected of killing at least 10 people and injuring 10 others Saturday in Monterey Park, a suburb east of downtown Los Angeles.

Law enforcement, some in SWAT vehicles, encircled the van Sunday in a parking lot in Torrance, Calif., a roughly 40-minute drive from Monterey Park. L.A. County Sheriff Robert Luna said officials do not know the condition of the person in the van. After Luna spoke, officers smashed a window and entered the van at about 1 p.m. local time. Soon after, SWAT trucks peeled off and a couple of officers remained, standing around and looking relaxed.

The LA Times reported that multiple law enforcement sources told them that the driver had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Luna described the homicide suspect as an Asian man about 5 feet 10 inches tall, 150 pounds, and wearing a black leather jacket, beanie and glasses. He said the suspect “should be considered armed and dangerous.”

“We don’t know if this is specifically a hate crime, defined by law,” Luna told reporters. “But who walks into a dance hall and guns down 20 people?”

The mass killing ocurrred shortly after Lunar New Year festivities, officials said.

At least 10 other people were taken to hospitals in various conditions after the shooting at a “ballroom dance location,” Capt. Andrew Meyer of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department told reporters. The sheriff’s department described the shooter as an Asian man between age 30 and 50 but did not provide a name or any other information.

The 10 victims – five men and five women – were pronounced dead at the scene and were “probably” all of Asian descent, Luna said. He said investigators have not yet identified the victims and did not know their ages.

The shooting occurred about 10:20 p.m., a little over an hour after the Lunar New Year event was scheduled to end, Meyer said. The second day of the festival has been canceled, the city of Monterey Park announced Sunday

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