A chilling photo has emerged that shows the Monterey Park shooter lying dead inside his car after he killed himself during the standoff following the mass shooting during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at a dance hall in Monterey, California. The shooter, who was identified as an Asian man Huu Can Tran, killed 10 people on Saturday night and injured 10 others.
Huu Can Tran was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head in a white van he used during the mass shooting. Reports claim that all the victims were Asian, while the shooter was of Vietnamese origin who was a "regular patron" at the dance hall where he carried out the massacre.
The chilling photo shows Tran's body slumped over in the driver's seat of a white van. He has a gunshot wound to his which police believe was self-inflicted. Investigators confirmed him to be the shooting suspect. Tran, 72, is believed to be of Vietnamese origin who shot and killed 10 people at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park.
Sources told CNN that Tran used to be a "regular patron" at the dance hall. It is believed that the elderly were mostly the patrons of the dance club, as most of his victims were Asians and above 50 years of age.
Tran killed himself following a standoff with cops after he fled the scene of the massacre. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that Tran's motive is still unclear.
Luna described what happened on Sunday when law enforcement personnel stormed and entered the vehicle after surrounding it for several hours. When they got close to the car after hearing a shot, they saw Tran's body slouched over the wheel.
A police standoff came after 10 people, believed to be Asians, were shot and killed at a ballroom dancing studio late on Saturday during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in the primarily Asian American neighborhood of Monterey Park.
The shooter then entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in adjacent Alhambra 20 to 30 minutes later. However, the customers wrestled the weapon from him, and he fled the scene.
Authorities then started searching for the white van after witnesses claimed to have seen the suspect driving away from Alhambra in it.
Tran was previously profiled on a wanted poster by Luna's office, which showed him with spectacles, a leather jacket, a dark winter beanie with a white design, and other clothing. Luna also didn't rule out the possibility of a second suspect but provided no evidence there might be one.
Old Connection With Dance Hall
Tran was seen at a hospital requesting medical attention shortly before the standoff, according to law enforcement sources. Tran went to the ER for treatment of wounds that were consistent with having been involved in a fight. He waited a short while before departing without receiving care.
The hospital alerted the authorities when the patient fit the suspect's description posted on the sheriff's department's Twitter page,
Around 10:20 am, police in Torrance, California, spotted a white van that matched the suspect vehicle description. They then followed the van into a parking lot of a mall and stopped the vehicle which resulted in a standoff. A few minutes later, a single gunshot could be heard coming from inside the van.
The local police officers dispersed and requested the assistance of tactical squads. Armored tanks and a bomb squad surrounded the van before noon local time, sparking a confrontation that lasted for more than an hour.
A SWAT squad unlocked the car's passenger door and subsequently its side doors just before noon local time. Photos showed a man slumped over in the driver's seat, whom investigators confirmed was the shooting suspect, according to Luna.
Police also confirmed that Tran was the only suspect in the shooting.
The 72-year-old was a regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and used to provide informal classes when he first met his ex-wife 20 years ago. People close to the suspect claimed that he frequently visited the dancing studio, though it is unclear when he last went there before the shooting.
Not much is known about the motive behind the mass shooting at this time as authorities seek to identify victims and investigate the case.