Suspect identified in SoCal shooting as Newsom calls for more gun control

Suspect identified in SoCal shooting as Newsom calls for more gun control
AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Police say a 72-year old man believed to be the person responsible for a deadly attack at the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California on Saturday evening died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on Sunday afternoon during a standoff with authorities. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters that his office believes the septuagenarian suspect was also the man responsible for another attempted attack at second nearby dance studio that was thwarted by attendees who were able to disarm him before he fled.

As far as motive, Luna says they’re still looking for answers.

“We still are not clear on the motive,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

Two law enforcement sources said the suspect recently showed up to the Hemet police station saying his family was trying to poison him.

“The investigation continues … we want to know how something this awful can happen,” Luna said.

The manhunt for the shooter began after he opened fire inside Star Ballroom Dance Studio on West Garvey Avenue around 10:20 p.m. Saturday, killing 10 people and wounding 10 others. It was Lunar New Year’s Eve.

About 20 minutes after the shooting in Monterey Park, Tran walked into Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in nearby Alhambra, officials said. “The suspect walked in there, probably with the intent to kill two more people,” Luna said. “But two community members disarmed him, took possession of his weapon, and the suspect ran away.”

At 10:20 a.m. Sunday, police found the white cargo van that was seen leaving the scene of the shooting, Luna said. When officers left their patrol vehicle to make contact with the occupant, they heard one gunshot come from the van.

At 1 p.m., a SWAT team determined that the suspect had a self-inflicted gunshot wound and he was pronounced dead at the scene. The man inside the van was Tran, the mass shooting suspect, authorities said.

During the search of the van, several pieces of evidence were found, linking the suspect to both locations. A handgun was found inside the van, which had stolen license plates, authorities said.

“I can confirm that there are no outstanding suspects,” Luna said.

According to authorities, the suspect is believed to have used an AR-style pistol and “large capacity” magazines in his attack; both illegal to possess under California law. And while Democrats in Sacramento will most certainly use this attack as a springboard to target legal gun owners in California, Gavin Newsom is already exploiting the tragedy to call on Congress to do the same.

If that “reform” were to focus on things like national right-to-carry reciprocity and reigning in the regulatory overreach of the ATF I’d be on board, but of course that’s the exact opposite of what Newsom is demanding. With a divided Congress unlikely to move the type of infringements that Newsom wants to see in place, expect California gun owners to bear the brunt of any legislative response to the shooting.

We’ll be talking more about the Monterey Park shooting as well as the reaction by lawmakers like Newsom on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co. California gun owner, Second Amendment advocate, and founding board member of the Asian Pacific American Gun Owners Association Chris Cheng will be joining me, and I suspect he has quite a bit to say; both about the cowardly shootings themselves and the exploitation of this tragedy by gun prohibitionists.