3 mass shootings within 44 hours in California

By Hannah Lee

During the Lunar New Year on January 21, eleven people were shot and killed at Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California. Nine others were injured in the shooting. All of the victims were between 50 and 70 years old and of Asian-Pacific Islander descent. The victims were visiting the dance studio to celebrate the Lunar New Year. The suspected gunman is Huu Can Tran.

The gunman also attempted to attack another dance studio in Alhambra but was disarmed by a bystander before causing any harm. Tran was then found dead in Torrance after an hours-long search and standoff with police. The gunman’s motive is still being determined, but according to Tran’s ex-wife who spoke with CNN, Tran was a regular at the Monterey Park dance studio where he offered informal lessons, but was quick to anger.

The victims were Mymy Nhan, 65; Lilan Li, 63; Xiujuan Yu, 57; Hongying Jian, 62; Muoi Dai Ung, 67; Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68; Yu-Lun Kao, 72; Chia Ling Yau, 76; Wen-Tau Yu, 64; Ming Wei Ma, 72, and Diana Tom, 70.

On January 23, 380 miles away from the massacre in Monterey Park, seven more people were killed in workplace mass shootings at two farms in Half Moon Bay. The victims were all farmworkers of Asian or Hispanic descent. Chunli Zhao has been taken into custody after being accused of the murder of his fellow workers.

Allegedly, Zhao killed four people and wounded another at a mushroom farm where he worked, before shooting and killing three others at another farm where he was previously employed .

The San Mateo County Sheriff reported that they believed that this shooting was ‘workplace violence and that motive is known but has not been made public at this time.’ Zhao’s court date has been set for February 16. He has been charged with seven counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. He previously had a restraining order filed against him in 2013 after he attempted to strangle a former co-worker from a prior job when he worked in a restaurant.

The victims have been identified as Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50; Jose Romero Perez, age unknown; Aixiang Zhang, 74; Zhishen Liu, 73; Qizhong Cheng, 66; Jingzhi Lu, 64; and Yetao Bing, 43.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 40 mass shootings this year, which marks 2023 as having more mass shootings at this point of the year than any other on record.