A woman lays flowers at the entrance to the dance studio. Pics Getty Images
Two of the 10 people killed by a gunman as they took a ballroom dancing class have been identified. It is one of the deadliest mass shootings in California’s recent history.
The names of two of the 10 victims of the shooting have been announced by the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office.
The victims identified are My Nhan, a 65-year-old woman, and Lilan Li, a 63-year-old woman.
The names of the other eight victims are yet to be released.
Huu Can Tran is the only suspect in the attack which happened in the Asian-majority city of Monterey Park.
Monterey Park is home to about 60,000 people, two-thirds of whom are of Asian descent. It has been called America’s first “Chinese suburb”.
Tens of thousands flock to its downtown area around this time of year for Lunar New Year celebrations that are among the biggest in the state.
The 72-year-old’s motive is unclear but police say they are looking at items found in his van.
About 30 minutes later, the gunman entered another dance studio in the adjacent town of Alhambra.
He was disarmed before he could shoot anybody and no injuries were reported.
Police in Monterey Park said they believed the gunman was disarmed by two civilians at the second dance studio he targeted, in the neighbouring city of Alhambra.
But in an overnight interview with the New York Times, Brandon Tsay – who helps run Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance Studio – said it was he alone who wrestled the attacker’s firearm away.
Tsay, 26, said he was in the office near the lobby and had turned around to see the gunman’s semi-automatic assault pistol pointed at him.
“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing,” Tsay told the Times.
“From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people.”
A computer coder who often works in the ticket office at the business, Tsay told ABC News “something came over me” and they struggled for control of the weapon for nearly two minutes before he managed to prise it away.
He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after armed officers surrounded his vehicle 12 hours after the shooting.
A community vigil is planned for Monday evening 19:00 local time (03:00 GMT). Monterey Park is home to a large Asian community which was celebrating the Lunar New Year festival.
The tragedy is the fifth mass shooting in the US this month and the deadliest since the Uvalde school shooting in Texas last May.
According to documents seen by CNN, Tran was an immigrant from China and worked as a truck driver for some period of time.
For more than two decades, he reportedly owned a home in the San Gabriel Valley, where Monterey Park is located, but sold it in 2013 and bought a mobile home in Hemet, about 85 miles (137 km) east of Los Angeles.
His ex-wife, who did not identify herself, told CNN that Tran was a regular at the Star Dance Studio he attacked on Saturday. She added they had met there about two decades ago. She described him as quick to anger but not violent. Tran filed for a divorce in 2005, which was formalised the next year.
A long-time friend of Tran who lost contact with him several years ago told CNN that he came to the dance hall – which was a five-minute drive from his San Gabriel home – “almost every night” in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
He said Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there” and believed the instructors didn’t like him and said “evil things about him”. BBC Reports