Shooter fired 42 rounds in Monterey Park massacre — motive not yet known

Shooter fired 42 rounds in Monterey Park massacre — motive not yet known

Authorities on Monday, Jan. 23, described the gunman who fired 42 times to kill 11 people at a Monterey Park dance studio late Saturday as heavily armed — whose Hemet home included a rifle, ammunition and materials used to make guns.

But there was no known motive yet, and authorities didn’t know the extent to which the massacre was planned.

“What drove a madman to do this?” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press conference at the Hall of Justice in downtown Los Angeles. “We don’t know. … This is a very complex investigation.”

The sheriff said law enforcement will work to find answers, and authorities will then tell the public what is learned.

At the Hemet home of suspected shooter Huu Can Tran, 72, authorities executed a search warrant after the late Saturday shooting and found ammunition and “items that lead us to believe that he was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors,” Luna said.

The ammunition was in containers “and there were hundreds of rounds,” Luna said.

Related:  These are the victims in the Monterey Park mass shooting

On Saturday night, Tran walked into the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and opened fire, killing 11 — the 11th dying on Monday, officials said. Tran then went to the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, carrying a modified 9 mm semi-automatic. That weapon, Luna said, was wrestled away from Tran by Brandon Tsay, 26, who was hailed as a hero.

“In my opinion, he saved many lives,” the sheriff said.

How to help people, families affected by Monterey Park mass shooting

Investigators have not confirmed yet if Tran knew any of the victims.

“We’re hearing there were possible​ relationships there but need to verify,” he said. “There are so many things we don’t know.”

One victim was found outside the dance hall, in a vehicle, and was likely the first struck, Luna said.

Luna noted an arrest in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.

Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiesse and his 77-strong force were rallying around the three rookie officers who first responded to the scene of the massacre, taking on the emotional toll. Weisse said his officers were on scene within three to four minutes after calls begin to flood in Saturday night beginning at 10: 22 p.m.

“They are feeling it today,” said, Wiesse, himself sworn in only recently as the chief. “My whole department has collapsed on them to make sure … they know how proud the department is of them.”