Suspect in Monterey Park mass shooting found dead in van

The suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting was found dead by a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van on Sunday after being surrounded by police in nearby Torrance, Calif., police said Sunday.

Police said the Asian male they found behind the wheel of the white van was the man they suspected of killing at least 10 people following a Lunar New Year festival near Los Angeles on Sunday night. The suspect was identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.

Police on Sunday had released photos of an Asian male suspect in a black leather jacket, black and white beanie, and glasses, who was wanted in possible connection with the Monterey Park shooting and an incident in nearby Alhambra, where two people had wrestled a weapon from a man who then fled the scene.

At a press conference midday Sunday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna addressed the “tactical incident” that had played out in Torrance, where police and armored SWAT vehicles surrounded the “white box van.”

“People have asked, is that your suspect? We don’t know. … There’s a van that looks just like what was described to us in the city of Torrance. It’s a barricaded suspect situation,” Luna said.

Authorities later said at an evening presser that a gunshot rang out when officers approached the vehicle to contact the occupant, and that law enforcement then found Tran deceased, slumped over the steering wheel of the vehicle.

The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Bureau tweeted Sunday afternoon that its operation involving the van was complete. “Neighborhood safe,” it added.

Though images of just one suspect were being circulated Sunday, the sheriff didn’t rule out the possibility of multiple suspects and multiple weapons and underscored that the investigation is ongoing. Luna wouldn’t share specifics about a weapon seized at the scene but said it was “not a high-powered assault rifle.”

“Just like I’m saying there may be more suspects — we think there’s one, there may be more — we have to assume there may be more than one weapon, right? We may have recovered one. When we find him, that doesn’t mean he’s not armed and dangerous,” Luna said.

The Monterey Park shooting occurred at a dance club late Saturday evening, killing 10 and injuring 10 others. The suspect’s motive is unknown, but Luna did not rule out a possible hate crime.

Updated: 9:29 p.m.

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