Chicago’s Chinese American Community Reacts to California Lunar New Year Mass Shooting – NBC Chicago

Chicago’s Chinese American Community Reacts to California Lunar New Year Mass Shooting – NBC Chicago

Members of Chicago’s Chinese American community are sharing their condolences following a mass shooting in which a gunman opened fire at a Los Angeles-area dance studio following a night of Lunar New Year celebrations, killing 10 people and injuring at least 10 others.

Authorities released images of a man sought in the shooting Sunday and located a van possibly connected to the individual in a nearby suburb. SWAT officers in armored vehicles surrounded the van with one person inside, but it wasn’t immediately confirmed if that person was the shooter. Police plan to provide an update at a news conference later in the evening.

In Chicago, many people excited to celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year woke up to the devastating news.

“This year is the year of the Rabbit, the Year of the Rabbit is supposed to be with love, peace, but now all these tragic news really hurts our Chinese community,” said Ben Lau, executive director of the Chinese American Museum of Chicago.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the suspect is believed to have been responsible for the mass shooting, along with a second that occurred in the nearby city of Alhambra. No one was injured in that shooting, authorities said.

Residents of Monterey Park, Calif., react to the mass shooting that left at least 10 people dead on Saturday night.

“A male Asian suspect walked into a dance hall and he walked in there with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away from him and that individual took off,” Luna stated.

The area in the western San Gabriel Valley, which includes Monterey Park, where the shooting occurred, is home to one of the largest Asian American Pacific Islander populations, according to NBC Los Angeles.

As of Sunday evening, it was too soon to rule out a hate crime as a possible motive.

Although some in Chicago’s Chinatown community say they’re fearful following the shooting, the area’s alderperson is calling on residents to stay strong.

“We certainly don’t want people in the face of this tragedy [to] be afraid to come and gather,” said 11th Ward Ald. Nicole Lee. “That is letting other people win.”

Lee says the police presence in the 11th Ward has increased for the Lunar New Years, and there will extra patrols for the entire week leading up to Chinatown’s Lunar New Year parade, which is next Sunday.

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