Asian community reeling after Lunar New Year shooting

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — It was a joyful kickoff to the first Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park since before the pandemic, with large crowds filling the streets

in the majority Chinese American city near Los Angeles for live entertainment, carnival rides and plenty of food. But the celebrations were marred by tragedy Saturday night

after a gunman entered a ballroom dance hall and opened fire, killing 10 people, wounding 10 more and sending panicked revelers into the streets. The shooting that left 5

men and 5 women dead brought a jarring end to the planned two-day party to ring in the Year of the Rabbit, which featured dragon dancers parading through downtown streets

decorated with red lanterns. Sunday's festivities were cancelled, though some Lunar New Year celebrations went on in neighboring cities also home to large Asian-American

populations. “We haven’t had a celebration like this in three years, so this was momentous. People came out in droves," said Mayor Pro Tem Jose Sanchez, who was there with

his 6-year-old daughter. He estimated 100,000 people attended Saturday, and the festival is typically one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in the state. The

massacre sent shock waves through Asian American communities around the nation, prompting police from San Francisco to New York to step up patrols at Lunar New Year celebrations

in their own cities. No motivation for the crime has been given and authorities said the suspect was a 72-year-old Asian man. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said

Sunday the man killed himself as police officers closed in on the van he used to flee.