Multiple casualties after shooting during Chinese New Year celebrations in California – US reports

US News

Multiple casualties have been reported after a shooting during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in California.

Police are responding to the attack in Monterey Park, a city just east of Los Angeles, with videos on social media appearing to show officers swarming the area and firefighters treating victims.

Some were seen being placed on stretchers or taken in ambulances.

A police vehicle is seen near a scene where a shooting took place in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. Dozens of police officers responded to reports of a shooting that occurred after a large Lunar New Year celebration had ended in a community east of Los Angeles late Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Pic: AP

Tens of thousands of people had gathered on Saturday afternoon for a two-day festival, which is considered one of the largest in the region.

According to the LA Times, the shooting took place at around 10pm (6am UK time), with one witness saying he believed it happened at a dance club.

Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood restaurant in the area, told the news outlet three people rushed into his business and told him to lock the door.

Investigators gather at a scene where a shooting took place in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. Dozens of police officers responded to reports of a shooting that occurred after a large Lunar New Year celebration in a community east of Los Angeles late Saturday. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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Investigators at the scene. Pic: AP

He said he was told there was a gunman with a machine gun who had multiple rounds of ammunition on him.

In a tweet, City Controller Kenneth Mejia, who is an official in the government of Los Angeles, said his “heart goes out to those who lost loved ones tonight” in the “mass shooting”.

“Monterey Park is home to one of the largest Asian communities in Los Angeles County, and many were out celebrating the Lunar New Year,” he added.

Screenshot from a video shows emergency responders at the shooting scene, following a shooting at Monterey Park, California, U.S. January 22, 2023. TNLA/Handout via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT
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Pic: TNLA/Handout via REUTERS

Sky News correspondent Martha Kelner explained that details around the incident are still fairly sketchy at the moment, and police are yet to release any information.

She added that police radio reports have suggested there are multiple victims and a number of fatalities, but this has not been verified.

“We still don’t know yet whether this shooter is at large or in custody or otherwise. So we’re waiting really to get the first information of any kind from police on this shooting,” she said.

Earlier in the day, crowds had been able to take part in various activities, watch live entertainment and visit “hundreds of vendors” as part of the celebrations, according to a notice by the City of Monterey Park.

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