Friday, March 31, 2023

A look at the continuing mass shootings in California

LOS ANGELES ( Associated Press) — In less than 48 hours, two gunmen opened fire on both sides of California, killing 18 people and wounding 10.

Unrelated massacres at a dance hall in a Los Angeles suburb on Saturday night and a pair of mushroom farms south of San Francisco on Monday dealt a heavy blow to a state that has some of the world’s deadliest firearms deaths and one of the lowest in the country. Mortality due to weapons.

As their communities mourned the tragedies, several Democratic politicians reiterated calls for stricter gun control at the federal level.

Here are some facts about the shoot:

What happened in Monterey Park?

Hours after the city of Monterey Park held a massive Lunar New Year celebration, a gunman stormed the Star Dance Ballroom and shot 20 people, killing 11. Police arrived within minutes at a scene of chaos and carnage as people fled the club in terror and others lay on the dance floor or collapsed into chairs at tables. The victims were Asian-American, mostly over the age of 60.

The attacker, 72-year-old Hu Can Tran, then went to the Lai Lai dance hall in the nearby Alhambra, where, according to police, he attempted to carry out a similar attack about 20 minutes later. He was met inside the gate by clerk Brandon Tse, who disarmed Tran during a brief struggle.

Tran then fled in a white van. He was later found dead on Sunday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The incident cast a shadow on the usually joyous New Year’s celebration and raised fears about growing hatred and violence in Asian American communities.

What happened in Half Moon Bay?

A farm worker who told a television reporter Thursday that his complaints about bullying and long working hours had been ignored shot five co-workers on Monday, killing four, authorities said. died. He then went to a nearby farm where he worked and killed three more people.

Chunli Zhao, 66, admitted to KNTV-TV that he committed the massacre, saying he was battling mental illness and was not in his right mind at the time. Subsequently, he turned himself in to the police, was arrested and held without bail.

Five of the victims were of Asian descent and three were Hispanic. Except two, all were in their 60s and 70s.

What will happen next?

Zhao will face a hearing in San Mateo County Superior Court on February 16, where he will face seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. If found guilty, the prisoner could face the death penalty.

Detectives continue to investigate the shooting.

There are most likely no criminal charges for the incident in Los Angeles County, as Tran died and authorities have indicated she acted alone. However, the investigation is ongoing as to what caused Tran to commit the massacre. So far, Los Angeles police have not determined a motive.

An old friend told The Associated Press that Tran frequented both dance halls, which he later broke into, that he was suspicious and paranoid and that people were saying bad things about him. The man, who asked not to be named so as not to draw attention to himself, said Tran dreamed of becoming a dance teacher and offering free lessons to women with the intention of being a partner, and felt that Real trainers avoid that.

But Police Chief Robert Luna said there was no evidence that Tran knew any of the people he killed and that he had not been to the ballroom in the past five years.

Detectives are also probing complaints filed twice this month with police in the town where he lived, alleging that members of his family tried to poison, defraud and rob him a decade or so ago . The man never backed up his claims with the documentation he promised to provide.

how did you get the firearms?

Zhao, a Chinese immigrant with permanent residency, told KNTV that he bought his gun in 2021 without any problems.

Authorities have said he had purchased the semi-automatic pistol legally, but did not provide further details.

The police chief said Tran, who was originally from Vietnam, purchased the submachine-style semiautomatic pistol used in Monterey Park in 1999. The weapon and high-capacity magazine are illegal in California and are not registered with the state.

He fired at least 42 shots from the MAC-10 semi-automatic pistol variant, taking the time to reload its 30-round magazine.

According to Luna, the semiautomatic pistol Tran used to kill himself was registered as a rifle found at his home in Hemet, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) from Monterey Park.

Tran’s criminal record only includes an arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm.

Why did it take so long for the police to inform the people?

Authorities in Southern California have defended their decision not to alert the public more than five hours later that a killer was on the loose following the ballroom shooting and subsequent failed attack.

Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said police in the area had been alerted and there was no point in alerting residents at night in the predominantly Asian-American city, although a possible armed suspect was on the run.

“I’m not going to have my agents go door-to-door waking people up and telling them we’re looking for an Asian man in Monterey Park,” Wiese told the Associated Press. “It won’t help us at all.”

Luna, who is leading the investigation, said his department’s decision on when to release the information was “strategic” but vowed to review the timetable.

Experts say that the authorities should have alerted the population in advance.

Who is the hero who fought the second shooting in Los Angeles?

Tse was praised for his heroic act, which saved many lives.

US President Joe Biden thanked her on the phone on Thursday for “taking such incredible action in the face of danger”.

“You are America,” Biden insisted in a video posted to Twitter. “You are who we are. America has never held back. We have always moved forward because of people like you.”

Tse, 26, whose family owns the club, said she took comfort in Biden’s words.

The chamber of commerce plans to award the Medal of Valor to the Alhambra police on Sunday as part of the city’s Lunar New Year festival on Thursday.

Although Tse said he was proud of what he had done, he declined to speak further about his actions in order to focus on those who lost their lives and those who were injured.

He said, “I want everyone to focus on the victims of this tragic incident, not on me.”


Associated Press writer Stephanie Dazio in San Marino, California contributed to this report

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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