At least 11 dead in shooting in California

The shooter opened fire at a ballroom dancing club and has yet to be apprehended by police.

At least 11 people were killed and 10 others were injured after a man opened fire at a ballroom dance club, according to the Los Angeles County (California) Sheriff's Office. Police continue to search for the assailant, who has not yet been apprehended. The incident took place near the location where thousands of people celebrated Chinese New Year. Hours after the events, agents are investigating whether a second incident involving a gun, which occurred in the early hours of Sunday morning at another dance venue in neighboring Alhambra, could be related, although in this second scenario there were no fatalities.

For the time being, not much is known about the incidence. According to Captain Andrew Meyer, a man, with no clear description, began shooting at a ballroom dance club in Monterey Park. The cause of the attack has also not been disclosed at this time. This is one of the worst gun incidents in the Golden State in recent years.

Injuries of varying degrees of severity

"When the agents arrived on the scene, they observed numerous people, customers... leaving the premises shouting. Officers entered the premises and located more victims," Meyer said. According to police reports, at least 10 other people were taken to numerous local hospitals. Their conditions range from stable to critical.

The captain acknowledged that investigators do not yet know if the victims were targeted and that it is too soon to know if we are dealing with a hate crime. They also can’t determine at this time what weapon was used in the shooting. The only thing that is clear is that a firearm was used. "We will look at all angles," Meyer said. The events occurred in a city where 65% of the population is of Asian origin. Shortly before the shooting, tens of thousands of people celebrated Chinese New Year in the streets of Los Angeles.

A "large" semi-automatic weapon

Several people told the Los Angeles Times that the shooter, who was carrying a "large,” semi-automatic weapon, with plenty of ammunition, opened fire on the premises. A restaurant owner in the area reported that three people ran into his establishment and asked him to lock up in case he chased them. A woman who was in the dance club at the time of the shooting indicated that she was in the bathroom when the shooting started and that when she came out she saw a gunman and three dead bodies, the owner of the studio and two women. Both she and her friends fled because the assailant was shooting indiscriminately without any specific target.

Although the Chinese New Year celebrations were supposed to last until Sunday, the events were suspended after what happened. Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese explained that the decision was made "out of an abundance of caution and in reverence for the victims."

A second incident

Hours later, during the early hours of Sunday morning, another incident occurred in Alhambra, a neighboring city. Police reported that they are investigating both events in case there is any connection between the two. There are no fatalities to report at this time for this second incident.

One of the worst gun massacres in California

Tonight's events mark one of the bloodiest gun attacks in California. It comes just five days after six people were murdered, including an infant, in Central Valley. The worst gun attack in the Golden State was the shooting at a McDonalds in San Ysidro (1984), where 21 people were shot to death. In addition, on Christmas Eve 2008, a man dressed as Santa Claus killed nine people in Covina, including the killer's ex-wife and her parents. In 2015, a terrorist attack left 14 dead in San Bernardino.