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Local leaders react to mass shooting at SoCal dance studio

A gunman killed 11 people and wounded 9 others at a Monterey Park ballroom dance studio following a Lunar New Year celebration.

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Authorities are searching for a motive for the gunman who killed 11 people at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club during Lunar New Year celebrations. 

The Monterey Park slayings sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities in region and cast a shadow over festivities nationwide. 

The gunman was found Sunday, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van. Authorities say he fled in the vehicle after people thwarted his attempt at a second shooting Saturday night. 

The Los Angeles County sheriff identified him as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran. 

Ten other people were wounded. It's the deadliest attack since 21 people were killed last May at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Local Reaction:

California Governor Gavin Newsom Tweeted a statement Sunday morning after being briefed on the Southern California massacre. 

"The Governor has been briefed on the shooting in Monterey Park, Los Angeles, and state officials are working closely with local law enforcement," the statement said. "No one should have to fear going to a celebration with their community. Our thoughts are with the victims and all those impacted."

Sacramento Councilwoman Mai Vang also took to social media Sunday to express heartbreak following the shooting while offering condolences, love and healing.

"Our families should be able to celebrate and be in space with community without leaving in fear.  Mass shootings are done exclusively by men. We can't address mass shooting in this country without addressing toxic masculinity and gender-based gun violence," Vang said in a Facebook post. "As a community, we must do more to protect humanity. Sending my condolences, love & healing to the Monterey Park community, families of the victims and those injured."

California state Assembly Member Stephanie Nguyen released a statement expressing sympathies and condolences to the victims' families.

"This horrific attack comes on a day where millions of Asian American Pacific Islanders across the nation celebrate the new Lunar New Year. This tragedy should serve as a reminder that we must remain vigilant and stand united as Californians and Americans against those who try to inflict harm on our communities," the statement said. "I am beyond saddened that yet, again, another senseless shooting has been inflicted on my community and I stand unequivocally in solidarity with the people of Monterey Park and the entire AAPI.”

Mayor Darrell Steinberg called the shooting a horrific act of violence.

"After another horrific act of violence perpetrated on a community celebrating what should have been a joyous occasion, my heart out goes to not only the families and friends of those killed and injured at the Monterey Park shooting, but also the AAPI community throughout California and our caring city."

President Robert Nelsen with Sacramento State University said the university will have counselors ready to support faculty and staff.

"As was the case with many of you, I awoke today to the news of another mass shooting, this time at a dance studio in Monterey Park. The shooting turned a day of joyous Lunar New Year celebration into a day of shock, horror, and grieving. At least 10 people were killed and many others wounded. I am deeply saddened and disturbed by this latest act of brutal violence. To all AAPIDA members of the Hornet Family, we grieve with you and will continue to stand with you against all forms of hate and violence."

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