The gunman killed 10 people and wounded another 10 Southern California ballroom dance studio on Saturday amid the celebration of the Lunar New Year.
After 20-30 minutes – a man with a weapon entered the Lai Lai ballroom in nearby Alhambra, but patrons wrested his gun from him and he fled, authorities said.
While police have not released the identity or race of the suspect, some liberals on Twitter were quick to link the horror to white supremacy and anti-Asian hatred before all the facts were known.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, R-N.Y., tweeted: “We must stand up to bigotry and hate wherever they rear their ugly heads, and we must continue to work to end gun violence.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Saturday’s shooting was “a horrific example of unprovoked gun violence. A possible motivation was bigotry against AAPIs (Asian American Pacific Islanders).
Meanwhile, #StopAsianHate saw many Twitter users condemn the violence, tagging their tweets with the caption “#StopAsianHate”.
Wisconsin State Representative Francesca Hong, expressing her condolences to the victims, tweeted: “We are broken as a nation because we have mass shootings and white supremacy reigning terror.”
While not all details were available Sunday afternoon, authorities say the suspected gunman was an Asian man between 30 and 50 years old.
Authorities said Sunday they knew the suspect’s name but declined to release it because it could complicate their ability to apprehend him. They posted a photo of an Asian man wearing glasses and a winter hat. The image was taken from a shooting attempt at the Alhambra.
Chester Chong, Chairman of the Los Angeles Chinese Chamber of Commerce, told ABC 7 that the mass shooting occurred because of a “domestic dispute”.
By noon Sunday, police in tactical vehicles and bomb squad trucks surrounded the white van in a parking lot in Torrance, located about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park. A law enforcement source told Fox News that the man in the van shot himself.
Hours earlier, Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect fleeing the Alhambra in such a vehicle.
The sheriff declined to say what type of gun was found in the Alhambra. He said investigators believe the gun used in the Monterey park was not an automatic.
The shooting and manhunt sent a wave of fear among Asian communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over Lunar New Year celebrations across the country.
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles, made up mostly of Asian immigrants from China or first-generation Asian Americans. The shooting took place in the very center of the city, where red lanterns decorated the streets to celebrate the Lunar New Year. A police car was parked near a large banner reading “Happy Year of the Rabbit!”
The shooting happened at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, a few blocks from City Hall on Monterey Park’s main street, Harvey Avenue, which is lined with small business malls with signs in English and Chinese. Cantonese and Mandarin are widely spoken, the city celebrates Chinese holidays, and the city regularly shows Chinese films.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.