Mass shooter Monterey may have gone to hospital after fatally shooting 10 people during Chinese New Year celebrations.
Local hospital staff reported a man fitting Huu Can Tran’s description to the emergency room for injuries possibly sustained from a fight, police told CNN.
Tran, 72, was identified as the gunman who shot several people at a ballroom dance studio late Saturday during celebrations in the predominantly Asian-American community.
Hospital workers said the man was in the waiting room before leaving without treatment. He was identified by staff through wanted photos posted to the sheriff’s Twitter account.
The shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park killed five women and five men and injured another ten people. 20 to 30 minutes later, the gunman entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in nearby Alhambra, where brave patrons fought him off and took the gun.
Tran then fled the scene and was on the loose until Sunday when police found him in the van he used to flee the massacre.
Huu Can Tran, 72, may have gone to hospital after killing 10 people on Sunday. Hospital workers said he appeared to have been injured in a fight. A photo of the man was released earlier
Police release photo of suspected Chinese Lunar New Year massacre in Monterey Park
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified Tran as the suspect on Sunday and confirmed his motive is unknown.
“He was planning to kill more people,” Luna said at a press conference on Sunday evening. “They saved lives,” he said of the patrons. “This could have been much worse.”
The exact ages of the victims have not been released, but Luna was all over 50. Seven of the injured remained in hospital, he said.
Tran was carrying what was described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second pistol was discovered in the van where he was found dead, Luna added.
Earlier Sunday, law enforcement officers swarmed and entered the van after surrounding it for hours. They heard a gunshot and approached the van to find Tran’s body slumped over the steering wheel.
Tran was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee after his attempted second shooting thwarted by ‘heroes’ patrons
A law enforcement officer walks past a body slumped in the driver’s seat of a van in Torrance, California, after a confrontation with police on Sunday
Aerial footage shows officials removing unknown objects from the white van after the standoff
A number of incidents took place across much of the Los Angeles area on Sunday, all committed by the same suspect.
Tran was carrying what was described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, and a second pistol was discovered in the van where he was found dead, officials said.
Gruesome photos on Saturday showed victims stretched from the crime scene before being rushed to hospital as police and ambulances swarmed the area.
Police said crowds of terrified festival-goers poured out of the area “screaming” as bullets continued to fly.
“Remember, the suspect went to the Alhambra site after leading the shooting and he was disarmed by two community members whom I consider heroes,” Luna said Sunday.
He added: “They have saved lives. This could have been much worse. The weapon we recovered in that second scene I describe as a magazine-fed semi-automatic assault pistol. Not an assault rifle, but an assault pistol with a large magazine attached.’
Hours earlier, Luna said authorities were looking for a white van after witnesses reported seeing the suspect flee Alhambra in such a vehicle.
The shooting and manhunt sent a wave of fear through Asian-American communities in the Los Angeles area and cast a shadow over New Year’s celebrations across the country. Other cities sent additional agents to monitor the celebrations.
Multiple victims were killed in the New Year’s Eve shooting in California
The first shooting happened at the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue, where the Star ballroom dance studio is located (pictured)
A second shooting, which police were investigating if it was related, took place at the nearby Lai Lai Ballroom in Alhambra (pictured)
Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern outskirts of Los Angeles, made up mostly of first-generation Asian immigrants from China or Asian Americans.
The shooting took place in the heart of downtown, where red lanterns decorated the streets for the Lunar New Year festivities. A police car was parked near a large banner reading ‘Happy Year of the Rabbit!’
The celebration in Monterey Park is one of the largest in California. Two days of celebration were planned, attended by as many as 100,000 people in recent years. But officials canceled Sunday’s events after the shooting.