In the United States, two days after the massacre that occurred on Lunar New Year’s Eve, police investigate traces of jealousy
Two days after the murder that occurred during a Chinese New Year celebration near Los Angeles, United States, there are still many unanswered questions. Monday, January 23, Americans are still wondering about the motivations that drove a septuagenarian of Asian origin Saturday night to kill eleven people in a dance hall in Monterey Park, in southern California, before trying to continue his massacre in another dance hall. , whose customers also celebrate Chinese New Year.
Originally raised to ten dead, the death toll has been revised to eleven, the LAC+USC medical center in Los Angeles announced Monday. “We are sad to announce that one of the victims has died of his injuries”said the hospital, which treated four of the ten people injured in the massacre, in a press release sent to Agence France-Presse (AFP).
US President Joe Biden expressed his anger Sunday night and ordered the flag to be flown at half-mast until the evening of January 26. “as a mark of respect to the victims of the senseless act of violence that was committed on January 21, 2023 in Monterey Park, California”according to a statement from the White House.
The first victim identified
After an extensive manhunt, which police say ended in the shooter’s suicide, Los Angeles County investigators are still working to uncover the details behind the Monterey massacre.
In this city of 60,000 people, many could not believe such an act could take place in this predominantly Asian suburb of Los Angeles, known for its serenity, which celebrated the Lunar New Year on Saturday night.
“All roads are being inspected”, Sheriff Robert Luna assured Sunday. Specifically, investigators have yet to determine why the victims, mostly in their 60s and 70s, were targeted.
Among the victims identified by Los Angeles County officials, as stated in a statement to AFP, was Mymy Nhan, a 65-year-old woman who became the first person to be killed in the dance hall. “We entered Chinese New Year with broken hearts. We didn’t know he could die so suddenly.”his family said in a statement posted on social media.
Traces of jealousy are learned
The 72-year-old Asian suspect was identified as Huu Can Tran after his death Sunday in Torrance, about 45 kilometers from Monterey Park. According to the media, Tran was a former regular at the ballroom, where he even met his ex-wife.
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Monterey Park resident Chester Hong told Agence France-Presse that a domestic dispute over an invitation to a Lunar New Year party may have been the cause of the tragedy. “The wife is invited to the party but the husband cannot be invited”he said on Sunday. “And her husband is probably angry and jealous. »
Huu Can Tran had emigrated to the United States from China, his ex-wife told CNN, having met two decades earlier at the same Star Ballroom Dance Studio. The couple soon married, but the union did not last long. He’s not violent, he says, but sometimes he loses his temper if he gets insulted, if he misses a dance step for example.
According to a former friend, also interviewed by the American channel, the killer regularly visited the dance hall where he remained. “unfriendly to many people”what he was accused of saying “mean about him”. His mobile home in Hemet, nearly 140 km east of Los Angeles, was searched on Sunday, according to the press. For a neighbor interviewed by local television, “He’s just a man with no history”.
His white van was blocked by an armored police vehicle, and his body was later found, showing traces of shots fired from inside the vehicle. The weapon found after he killed himself in his vehicle was not an assault rifle, said Sheriff Luna, but “semi-automatic assault pistol (…), equipped with a high-capacity magazine”.
A young man avoids a second bloodbath
After killing eleven people and wounding ten in Monterey Park, the shooter went to a nearby dance hall on Saturday night, with the intention of killing the other victims. However, he was prevented from doing so after being disarmed by a young man, whom he described Monday as “hero” by American media.
Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old employee at Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in the city of Alhambra, was at the entrance of the venue, which is frequented by Asian patrons, when the shooter entered and pointed a gun at him. “My heart stopped, I knew I would die”he told New York Timeadd: “At this moment, it’s a survival instinct” who took over.
The young man said he lunged at the man and grabbed the barrel of his gun, engaging in what he described as “fight of his life”. In CCTV footage released by ABC on Monday, Brandon Tsay can be seen grappling with the beanie-wearing shooter, with an undistinguishable weapon at close range. He eventually managed to grab it, and the suspect then fled.
The shooting was the deadliest in the United States since a gunman killed 21 people in May 2022 at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The United States is paying a heavy price for the proliferation of firearms on its territory and the ease with which Americans can access them. Some 49,000 people died from gunshots in 2021 in the country, compared to 45,000 in 2020, which was an unprecedented year for the region. This represents more than 130 deaths per day, more than half of which are suicides.