A safe haven for Asian immigrants now shares in the tragedy of gun violence

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Here between the snow-capped San Gabriel Mountains and downtown Los Angeles is a place that decades ago made history, becoming the nation’s first

Asian-majority city after years of determined emigration from Taiwan, Hong Kong and mainland China. Now its history includes a grimmer development, one it shares with an

increasing collection of American cities and suburbs: A shooting killed at least 10 people and wounded 10 others as they joyously marked the start of the Lunar New Year inside a

popular dance hall. The man who carried out the Saturday night shooting has been identified as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old old man of Asian descent. He was found dead on

Sunday behind the wheel of a white van, and his motive remains unclear. But in the cool winter light of day, this city of about 60,000 people has turned sharply from a venue for

celebration to one of grief, from suburban calm to frightening revelation. Despite its remove from Los Angeles County’s more violent neighborhoods, Monterey Park is just

as vulnerable to gun violence in a state that has tried more than most to corral it with laws and regulations, many of its fearful residents said in the aftermath. Investigators

are still determining if its ethnic character played any role in the attack, city and regional officials said. “When people ask me about Monterey Park, I think about the

food, the people, that I can go outside at 12 a.m. and feel safe,” said Eric Ching, who passed by a center set up here for victims and families Sunday afternoon to pay his

respects.