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A look at California’s back-to-back mass shootings

Within 48 hours, two gunmen rioted on both ends of California, leaving 18 people dead and 10 injured.

Unrelated massacres at a ballroom in suburban Los Angeles on Saturday night and at a pair of mushroom farms south of San Francisco on Monday dealt a blow to the state, which has some of the nation’s toughest gun laws and the most low death rate from firearms. .

As communities mourned the dead, some Democratic politicians repeatedly called for tighter gun control at the federal level.

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Hours after the city of Monterey Park held a massive Lunar New Year celebration, a gunman broke into the Star Dance ballroom and shot 20 people, killing 11. Police arrived minutes later at the site of the chaos and carnage as people fled in fear from the club. while others stretched out on the dance floor or hunched over in chairs at tables. The victims were elderly Asian Americans, mostly in their 60s and 70s.

The shooter, Huu Kang Tran, 72, then drove to the Lai Lai ballroom in the nearby Alhambra, where police said he attempted a similar attack about 20 minutes later. He was greeted at the door by 26-year-old Brandon Tsey, an employee whose father and sister own the club, who made the split-second decision to run for his guns. He disarmed Thran after a brief struggle.

Tran escaped in a white van, where he was found dead Sunday morning from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The rampage has overshadowed the usually joyful celebration of the New Year and revived fears in Asian American communities about rising hatred and violence against them.


A farm worker who told a TV reporter on Thursday that his complaints of bullying and overtime had been ignored shot and killed five colleagues, killing four, on Monday at a mushroom farm in Half Moon Bay, authorities said. He then drove to a nearby farm where he used to work and killed three more people.

Chunli Zhao, 66, admitted to KNTV-TV that he shot at him and said he was battling mental illness and was out of his mind at the time. He later surrendered to the police and was taken into custody without bail.

Five of the victims were Asian and three were Hispanic. All but two were in their 60s and 70s.


Zhao will stand trial Feb. 16 in San Mateo County Superior Court on seven counts of murder and one attempted murder. He could face the death penalty if found guilty.

Detectives are still investigating the shooting.

No criminal charges are pending in Los Angeles County because Tran is dead and authorities said he acted alone.

However, the investigation into what prompted Tran to kill is ongoing. So far, the Los Angeles Sheriff has said they haven’t determined a motive.

A longtime friend told The Associated Press that Tran frequented both dance halls he targeted and complained about the way he was treated there. The man, who asked not to be named, said that Tran imagined himself to be a dance teacher and offered free lessons to women so he could have a partner, and he felt the teachers looked down on him.

But Sheriff Robert Luna said there was no evidence Tran knew any of the people he killed, and that he hadn’t been in the ballroom for five years.

Tran’s criminal record only included an arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a weapon.


Zhao, a Chinese immigrant with a green card, told KNTV that he bought his guns in 2021 without difficulty.

Officials said he legally purchased the semi-automatic pistol, but did not provide any other details.

Tran, who was originally from Vietnam, bought a semi-automatic submachine gun that he used in Monterey Park in 1999, according to the sheriff. The pistol and high-capacity magazine are illegal in California and not registered in the state.

He fired at least 42 bullets from a MAS-10 submachine gun, taking the time to reload the 30-round magazine.

According to Luna, the semi-automatic pistol with which Tran committed suicide was registered, as was the bolt-action rifle found at his home in Hemet, about 70 miles (112 km) from Monterey Park.


Southern California authorities defended their decision not to notify the public for more than five hours that the killer was at large following the dance hall shooting and subsequent assault attempt.

Monterey Park Superintendent Scott Wiese said police in the region have been alerted and it makes no sense to alert residents at night in a predominantly Asian-American city, even if a potentially armed suspect is on the loose.

“I’m not going to send my officers door to door, wake people up and tell them we’re looking for an Asian man in Monterey Park,” Wiese told The Associated Press. “It won’t do us any good.

Luna, who is leading the investigation, said his department’s decision on when to release the information was “strategic” but vowed to revise the schedule.

According to experts, the authorities should have warned the public earlier.

WHICH LEADERS SHOWED sympathy and support?

Pope Francis and President Joe Biden sent condolences and messages of support.

Vice President Kamala Harris added a bouquet of flowers to a growing memorial outside the locked gates of a Monterey Park studio on Wednesday and, like many Democrats, called on Congress to pass tougher gun laws.

“Unfortunately, we keep saying the same things,” Harris said. “Can they do something? Yes. Should they do something? Yes. Will they do something? That’s where we all need to speak up.”

Biden urged lawmakers to support a ban on assault weapons introduced by US Senator Dianne Feinstein.


Cai has been widely praised for his heroic actions, which have saved countless lives.

President Joe Biden thanked him by phone on Thursday for “such incredible actions in the face of danger.”

“You are America,” Biden said in a video posted to Twitter. “You are who we are. America has never backed down. We’ve always been activated because of people like you.”

Tsai, 26, said he was comforted by Biden’s words.

Alhambra police planned to award him a medal for courage on Sunday at the city’s Lunar New Year festival, the Chamber of Commerce said on Thursday.

Although Tsai said he was proud of what he had done, he told reporters outside his home on Monday that he did not want to discuss his actions, but rather focus on the people who died and those who were injured.

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