Some of Monterey Park's Youngest Officers Responded to Dance Hall Tragedy

Some of Monterey Park's Youngest Officers Responded to Dance Hall Tragedy

Some of the youngest members of the Monterey Park Police Department were the first on the scene of Saturday’s deadly shooting at a dance hall, providing help for wounded victims at the horrifying scene.

Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese commended the officers — one of the department’s “youngest shifts” — for their bravery and quick action as they entered the Star Dance Studio moments after a gunman opened fire, killing 11 people and wounding an additional nine.

“My three young female police officers who had only been on the job less than a year,” Wiese said.

Officers received calls of gunshots fired around 10: 22 p.m. Saturday and were on the scene within a few minutes. At the time, a clear description of the gunman was not known.

The officers immediately began assessing the area to check on victims, provide help to the injured and determine whether the shooter was still at the scene.

“They didn’t think about what they were going to encounter. All they thought about was getting in there and helping the people that needed help,” Wiese said, at a press conference Monday.

He emphasized the wellness of his officers and how it is his job to make sure they are well and able to do their jobs.

“They are feeling it today, I’ve sat down with each one of them,” Wiese said. “Officer wellness is a huge part of being a police officer. I need to make sure my officers are safe.”

Wiese, who has been in law enforcement since 1980, was only sworn in as Monterey Park’s chief two days before the shooting. As the new police chief he wanted to express how proud he is of his officers and the diligent work they did during a stressful time.

He said they are all still trying to process the events that took place.

“I love each one of them,” Wiese said.