Nine people were killed in a shooting in a community near Los Angeles, California, USA late last Saturday as tens of thousands of people were celebrating the Lunar New Year.
“Homicide detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department are responding to assist in the investigation into the shooting death of Monterey Park PD. Nine dead.” There are also unconfirmed injuries.
Sergeant Bob Boese said the shooting occurred at 10:22 p.m.
The identity of the perpetrator, believed to be male, is currently unknown. The report quoted a female agent who said the shooting was ‘an isolated incident’.
With a population of about 60,000 and a large Asian population, Monterey Park is about 10 miles (16 km) from downtown Los Angeles.
Choi Seung-won, who runs a seafood barbecue restaurant across the street from the shooting, told the Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his restaurant and urged him to lock the door.
Choi said the shooter was carrying a machine gun and several rounds of live ammunition and was believed to have opened fire at a dance club.
Footage from the scene released on social media shows a deserted intersection with one section blocked off and police sirens in the background.
Other images show people being transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital, some sitting on the side of the road receiving treatment.
Edwin Chen, 47, rushed from Woodland Hills when he heard the news. About 12 family and friends live in Monterey Park. “This is going to be a happy time. I want to find out as much as possible. It’s shocking,” he said.
We cannot independently verify these visuals.
The Times said the incident happened after 10pm on Saturday night.
AFP reporters at the scene said there was a large police presence and that the area had been sealed off by overhead helicopters.
Los Angeles City Commissioner Kenneth Mejia tweeted: “My heart goes out tonight to those who have lost loved ones in our neighboring city of Monterey Park.
Saturday marked the beginning of one of the biggest Lunar New Year celebrations in Southern California, the two-day Chinese New Year festivities.