At least 10 people have died and 10 others are injured after a mass shooting near Monterey Park in a city east of Los Angeles where thousands of members of the Asian American community had gathered for Lunar New Year celebrations.
Sergeant Bob Boese of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the shooter is male and remains at large, and that the shooting occurred at a business on Garvey Avenue, in Monterey Park.
Tens of thousands of people had gathered to attend Chinese New Year celebrations earlier in the day.
The shooting took place after 10pm (6am GMT) on Saturday night in Monterey Park, which is located about 10 miles (16km) from downtown Los Angeles
Officials did not provide any information for several hours after dozens of police officers responded to reports of the shooting.
Footage posted on social media showed deserted, cordoned-off streets guarded by police cars.
BREAKING: I am in Monterey Park where there are reports of at least ten people shot at a Lunar New Year event. Very little info and I’m still headed to the primary scene. Monterey Park PD & Alhambra PD are on scene. More soon. pic.twitter.com/ewFho0Joju
— Emily Holshouser (@emilyytayylor) January 22, 2023
Other videos online showed police, fire units and ambulances swarming an area on Garvey Avenue and treating victims.
Seung Won Choi, a seafood barbecue restaurant owner across the street where the shooting took place, told the LA Times there was a man with a machine gun in the area.
Mr Choi said the gunman reportedly had multiple rounds of ammunition on him and three people were rushed inside his restaurant, telling him to lock the door.
Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia said in a tweet: “Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred.”
The incident took place on the first day of a two-day festival, one of the largest Lunar New Year events in Southern California.
It happened in a city of around 60,000 people that includes a large Asian population.
Marvel star Simu Liu said he is “shocked, saddened, angered, and heartbroken” by the shooting in an area where thousands of Asian American families live. He stated a death toll of 10 people, though this has not been confirmed by authorities.
For those who are unfamiliar, Monterey Park is a city in LA County that is majority AAPI. It's home of Asian American families, parents, grandparents, siblings, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles. All of whom were looking forward to celebrating the New Year this weekend.
— Simu Liu (@SimuLiu) January 22, 2023
“A gunman has murdered ten people and injured over a dozen others in Monterey Park, where tens of thousands of Asian American families had gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year that day. He is still at large. This should be getting way more coverage in media. A terrible act,” he said, as police are yet to confirm the casualties.