Southern California Asian community reeling after Lunar New Year shooting

ASSOCIATED PRESS MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — 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 is an Asian man. But Asian American

advocacy groups said it was another blow after years of high-profile anti-Asian violence around the country.