A gunman opened fired and killed at least 10 people and wounded 10 others at a Monterey Park dance studio following a Lunar New Year celebration Saturday.
The location of the shooting appears to be at Star Dance Studio, located in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue. Investigators on Sunday were seen coming in and out of the business.
A man who was inside the dance studio Saturday night described the scene when shots rang out.
The man said the studio was playing disco music and people were line dancing.
The music was loud and it was a very festive environment when he began to hear gunshots.
Initially he thought they were fireworks for the Lunar New Year celebration.
“First I thought it was firecrackers and later I saw people fall down,” he said. “Also people in the ballroom started running.”
He did not want to be identified for safety reasons as authorities are still searching for the gunman.
Star Dance Studio was hosting an event to celebrate the count down to the Chinese Lunar New Year. The event was hosted from 8 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
According to a post shared with NBC4 the event was advertised as having dancing, snacks, prizes, a photo booth and games.
A witness that was at a dance studio in Monterey Park during a mass shooting describes what the scene looked like when shots rang out. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 News on Jan. 22, 2023.
Once he realized they were not firecrackers he laid on the floor. He said 50 to 60 people were inside the studio at the time.
He described the studio as being very popular and that it has been around the community at that particular location for 20 to 30 years.
He said he has friends that were injured during the shooting and are now at hospitals.
A woman next to him appeared to be shot in the arm and she asked him to call the police.
The studio is known for hosting dancing events, karaoke and dance classes to members of the community.
Photos on their website include images of previous events with families and young children in attendance.
The studio appears to be a communal space where families gather together and celebrate the art of dance.
According to its website, the studio features professional and award-winning instructors from across the ballroom world. The classes offered include tango, waltz, kid’s Latin, kid’s ballet, along with traditional Chinese dances.
One of their recent events was a New Year’s Eve party that brought out a large crowd.
Events are frequently promoted on their social media sites and bring out people from a wide range of ages.
The studio first opened in 1990 and switched ownership in 2013.
They have released images of a possible person of interest but have not identified the individual yet.
Authorities have also helped set up a memorial honoring the victims of the shooting at the Monterey Park City Hall for anyone wanting to mourn or express their grief.
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