(GoRealNewsNow.com) – HAPPENING NOW: A mass shooting occurred late last night at Lai Lai Ballroom in Monterey Park, a city in Los Angeles county, California.
The incident happened on Lunar New Year’s Eve, at around 10:30 p.m. local time Saturday night.
The shooting resulted in the death of ten people and injured an additional ten people.
A festival celebrating the holiday drew thousands to the city, which has a large Asian-American population, earlier in the day.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said they are searching for a male suspect, but no motive is known.
A firearm was confirmed as the weapon used.
Seung Won Choi, an eyewitness and restaurant owner, told the Los Angeles Times that three people darted into his establishment and urged him to lock the doors because a man was firing a machine gun nearby. His restaurant was across the street from where the incident occurred.
Another eyewitness told the BBC they saw an individual flee the scene in a car.
“When officers arrived on scene, they observed numerous individuals, patrons … pouring out of the location, screaming. The officers made entry to the location and located additional victims,” Los Angeles sheriff’s captain Andrew Meyer told reporters at a press briefing Sunday morning.
The three people who warned Choi said the shooter brought multiple rounds of ammunition so he could continue the rampage, Choi told the Times.
All ten of the injured civilians were hospitalized after the shooting. Some are in serious condition while others are more stable, Meyers suggested.
The police chief added that there was another incident in Alhambra, a suburb north of Monterey Park, and investigators are “trying to determine if there’s a connection.” No one was harmed in Alhambra, CBS News reported.
Police have not yet been able to determine the tragedy in Monterey Park as a hate crime, but Meyers said, “We will look at every angle.”
The festival events had reportedly concluded for the day when the shooter started attacking. “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” Los Angeles City Controller Kenneth Mejia wrote on Twitter. Mejia is the first Asian American citywide office holder in L.A.
The incident has sent shockwaves through the community and the nation, as the tragic event occurred during a time of celebration and joy.
The police are still investigating the incident, and it is unclear what the motive behind the shooting was. The families of the victims are in the thoughts and prayers of the community and the nation as they come to terms with this senseless tragedy.
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