California: Police give update on Monterey Park shooting, identify weapons used in Lunar New Year attack
Authorities in California have released new information about the weapons used in the Monterey Park mass shooting, where a shooter opened fire into a crowd of people at a dance studio during New Year’s celebrations. Lunar on Saturday night, leaving 12 dead and several others injured.
At a press conference Wednesday night, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said two weapons recovered near the Star Dance Ballroom Studio in Monterey Park, California included a semi-automatic -Company Cobray 9mm MAC-10 portable and Norinco 7.62 x 25mm pistol.
A MAC-10 weapon was the main weapon used in the shooting, as 72-year-old suspect Huu Can Tran is believed to have stood at the door and opened fire 42 rounds, killing 11 people.
The trigger has also been modified, although it is unclear if the weapon has been modified to be fully automatic. It is being tested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Luna said.
11 MONTEREY PARK, CALIFORNIA, SHOOTING VICTIMS NAMED LA CRONER
A photo of the weapon shown at the press conference appeared to show a silencer or suppressor attached to its barrel. There appeared to be clothing or other material wrapped around the barrel.
A MAC-10 is generally illegal to possess in California, which has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the US, particularly on “assault weapons.” However, Californians are allowed to legally own weapons that are later banned.
Luna did not specify when the weapon was obtained or whether its possession was illegal.
The sheriff also said the weapon had a 30-round magazine and that the shooter switched magazines at some point during his attack. High-capacity magazines, defined by California law as anything that carries more than 10 rounds, are illegal in the state.
A magazine exchange on the weapon can happen within seconds, a weapons expert in the state of California told Fox News Digital.
A resident, like a prohibited weapon, can legally keep a high-capacity magazine in their possession if it was obtained before January 1, 2000, Reuters reported.
First victims identified after MONTEREY, California park mass shooting
After his attack, police said the shooter fled the ballroom and used the Norinco, which was properly registered, to take his own life.
Captain Andrew Meyer of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau said police have video from inside the dance studio but its graphic content would not be released at this time.
Investigators also obtained a warrant for the suspect’s home, where they found a Savage Arms .308 caliber bolt action rifle and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The rifle is considered a sport hunting rifle and is legal in the state. The abundance of weapons is also legal to possess and is common throughout California.
At the press conference, Luna said the suspected gunman had not been to the Star Ballroom in the past five years and that no connection to the victims was immediately clear.
The suspect was arrested in 1997 for illegal possession of a firearm, Luna said. He is Vietnamese and previously lived in China and Hong Kong. A motorcycle was also parked at the scene by the intended shooter at some point before the shooting. Police believe this may have been set up as a getaway vehicle.
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The victims who were killed on Saturday night were identified as Valentino Alvero, 68, Hong Jian, 62, Yu Kao, 72, Lilian Li, 63, Ming Wei Ma, 72, My Nhan, 65, Diana Tom, 72, Muoi Ung, 67, Chia Yau, 76, Wen Yu, 64, and Xiujuan Yu, 57.
The US Constitution recognizes that Americans have a fundamental right to own firearms and the US Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld this right.