At least 10 people were killed in a mass shooting at a ballroom dance club in the Los Angeles area on Saturday night, police officials said, making it the country’s deadliest gun violence incident of 2023 so far.
At least 10 other people were injured in the shooting and are currently receiving treatment at local hospitals—including some who are in critical condition, Los Angeles County Sheriff Captain Andrew Meyer told reporters on Sunday morning.
The incident took place around 10.30 pm local time on Saturday evening in the Los Angeles-area suburb of Monterey Park.
Details about the suspected gunman and any potential motive remain sparse apart from the fact that he is male and still remains at large.
Monterey Park is home to a large Asian-American population and the shooting took place near the location of a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration where tens of thousands of people had gathered earlier in the evening, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Citing a witness, the LA Times report adds that the shooter was using a “long gun” and also appeared to be firing “indiscriminately.”
While an exact motive for the shooting is yet to be established, its vicinity to the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations has raised concerns that it could be yet another incident of violence targeting Asian Americans. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been targeted by a growing wave of hate crimes. According to data aggregated by the FBI, hate crime incidents where the victims are Asian nearly doubled from 161 incidents in 2019 to 305 in 2021. Experts, however, maintain this is a significant undercount.
2,539. That is the total number of people who have been killed by guns across the U.S. so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive. These include 33 incidents of mass shootings this year, which the Gun Violence Archive defines as an incident where four or more people were killed or injured, not including the shooter.