At least 16 casualties and 10 deaths reported after shooting in Monterey Park near site of Chinese Lunar New Year celebration


Alarabiya News, Los Angeles Times

22nd January 2023 – (Los Angeles) Police were attending a shooting in Monterey Park, California with multiple casualties on Saturday night, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a law enforcement source. The shooting took place after 10pm (0600 GMT) around the location of a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration held in Monterey Park, the newspaper said. At least 10 people have been killed and 16 injured in the shooting, according to media report. Tens of thousands of people had attended the festival earlier in the day. Monterey Park is a city in Los Angeles County, around 7 miles (11 kilometers) from downtown Los Angeles.

Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood barbecue restaurant across the street from where the shooting happened on Garvey Avenue, said three people rushed into his restaurant and told him to lock the door.

They said there was a man with a machine gun in the area. The gunman, they said, had multiple rounds of ammunition on him, so that once his ammunition ran out, the shooter reloaded, Choi said.

Choi said he believes the shooting took place at a dance club in the area.

The shooting took place sometime after 10pm near the site of a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. Tens of thousands had gathered Saturday for the start of a two-day festival, one of the largest Lunar New Year events in the region.

Earlier in the day, crowds were enjoying skewers and shopping for Chinese food and jewelry. Saturday’s New Year festival hours were scheduled from 10am to 9pm.

John, 27, who declined to give his last name, lives near the shooting site. He got home around 10pm and heard about 4 or 5 gunshots, he said. Then he heard police cruisers “smashing” down the street. He went downstairs at around 11.20pm to see if the shooting occurred at the New Year festival.

“My first concern was I know they’re having a Lunar New Year celebration,” he said. But he said he saw that the festival had already been cleaned up for the day when he arrived. He went to the scene of the shooting and saw one person being put on a stretcher. Another person had a bandage on their arm.

Video on social media showed police and fire units swarming an area on Garvey Avenue and treating victims.

Injured people were taken to multiple hospitals in the area.

It was unclear if a suspect was in custody.

The violence left many in the area and beyond stunned.

Edwin Chen, a 47-year-old delivery dispatcher, rushed over from Woodland Hills to Monterey Park around 12.30am after hearing the news. Chen grew up in the area and said there are about a dozen or so family and friends live here.

He also said he was saddened this happened just as the community was celebrating Lunar New Year.

“This is (supposed to be) a happy time,” he said. “I want to find out as much as possible. It’s still shocking,” he said.

“Our hearts go out to those who lost loved ones tonight in our neighboring city, Monterey Park, where a mass shooting just occurred,” Los Angeles city controller Kenneth Mejia, the first Asian American to hold citywide office in L.A., said in a tweet.