Widget Image
Recent Posts
Tuesday, Jan 31st, 2023
HomeEntertaintmentGlobalCalifornia police chief defends delayed public warning of Monterey Park mass shooter – National
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

California police chief defends delayed public warning of Monterey Park mass shooter – National

The police chief in the California city where 20 people were shot — 11 fatally — at a ballroom dance hall defended his decision not to warn the public for hours that a killer was on the loose, saying Wednesday he didn’t have enough information to effectively alert residents.

Monterey Park Chief Scott Wiese said police in the region were alerted and it didn’t make sense to send out a warning at night to residents in the predominantly Asian American city even after learning the suspect may have targeted a nearby dance club after the massacre.

“I’m not going to send my officers door to door waking people up and telling them that we’re looking for a male Asian in Monterey Park,” Wiese told The Associated Press. “It’s not going to do us any good.”

The shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio at 10:22 p.m. Saturday occurred just an hour or so after tens of thousands of people attended Lunar New Year festivities in the city. The public wasn’t notified of the mass shooting for five hours, raising questions about why an alert wasn’t sent to people in the area.

Story continues below advertisement


Read more:

California governor calls for gun control amid mass shootings: ‘Tragedy upon tragedy’

Read next:

Paris Hilton welcomes 1st baby in adorable Instagram post

Huu Can Tran, 72, who was said to frequent the dance hall and fancied himself as an instructor, carried out the shooting with a submachine gun-style semi-automatic weapon with large capacity magazine, authorities said.

Tran fled in a white van before officers arrived at the scene of chaotic carnage and about 20 minutes later he entered another dance hall in nearby Alhambra, where an employee confronted and disarmed him during a brief struggle.

Chris Grollnek, an active shooter expert, said police never should have waited so long to warn the public about the possible threat posed by a gunman at large. The city had access to an automated alert system and even putting out a little information would have been better than nothing.

“They should have gotten the word out sooner,” Grollnek said. “I think everybody’s lucky he didn’t make it to a third location.”

Click to play video: '‘Shame on them’: California governor slams Speaker McCarthy amid spate of shootings'

‘Shame on them’: California governor slams Speaker McCarthy amid spate of shootings

Wiese, who had been sworn in as chief two days before Saturday’s shooting, said he quickly learned about the second incident at the Lai Lai Ballroom but it wasn’t immediately clear the two were connected.

Story continues below advertisement

Patrol officers in Monterey Park and Alhambra traded details of their two incidents, prompting investigators to look into a potential connection, Wiese said.

“We put that together pretty quickly but we still had very limited information,” he said.

Wiese said they were piecing together information from some 40 witnesses — many of whom didn’t speak English — and didn’t want to broadcast incorrect information. He said that notifying other local, state and federal agencies gave them the ability to get the word out.

A sheriff’s official confirmed the fatalities to the AP shortly before 2:36 a.m. Sunday but it wasn’t until roughly an hour later — some five hours after the shooting — that law enforcement first mentioned a suspect was at-large.

Read more:

California shooting death toll rises to 11 as investigators search for motive

Read next:

A&W pokes fun at M&M’s after company ditches spokescandies

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said his department’s decision to release information was “strategic” but promised a review of the timeline.

“When we started putting out public information, the priority was to get this person into custody,” Luna said Monday. His department, which is handling the investigation, hasn’t released information about the shooting since Monday.

The first news conference about the shooting was held Sunday morning by a sheriff’s captain. Several hours later, Tran was found dead in his van from a self-inflicted gunshot, authorities said. A handgun was found in the vehicle.

Story continues below advertisement

The slayings during what should have been joyful Lunar New Year celebrations sent ripples of fear through Asian American communities that were already dealing with increased hatred and violence directed at them.

Less than 48 hours later, a gunman in Northern California shot eight fellow farmworkers — killing seven — at mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay. The shooter was of Chinese descent and most of the victims were Asian.

Click to play video: 'Man accused of killing 7 former co-workers south of San Francisco'

Man accused of killing 7 former co-workers south of San Francisco

Outside the locked gates of Star Dance Studio, a popular venue for older Asian Americans, a memorial grew higher Wednesday with mounds of bouquets and balloons.

Sabine Slome, who works as a pharmaceutical representative in the city, wept after paying her respects and leaving behind flowers.

“I just pray that we will learn from this,” she said. “It’s just heartbreaking. How many more shootings?”

Story continues below advertisement

Hearts were scribbled in pink and red chalk in the parking lot where the first victim was killed in her car.

“Monterey Park I hope you know how loved you are,” a message read.

Read more:

Families of Uvalde shooting victims press for gun reform after California massacres

Read next:

High profile Canadian skating coach Richard Gauthier found guilty of sex assault, gross indecency

Large photos of seven of the victims were propped up and framed by white roses. Flowers framed names of the other four dead.

“This is the place where we go out to eat,” said Ryan Yamada, who was with his 74-year-old mother. ”We can’t just pretend this is some other people’s problem.”

Vice President Kamala Harris visited the memorial in the dance studio parking lot on Wednesday, pausing as she passed by each of the large, rose-framed photos and names of the victims. She placed a large bouquet of yellow and white flowers alongside scores of others.

Speaking briefly to reporters, Harris relayed sentiments on behalf of President Joe Biden and called for stricter gun control laws.

“Tragically we keep saying the same things,” Harris said. “Congress must act.”

“Can they do something? Yes. Should they do something? Yes. Will they do something? That is where we all must speak up,” Harris said.

Story continues below advertisement

Click to play video: 'Monterey Park shooting: Biden, first lady offer condolences to AAPI community'

Monterey Park shooting: Biden, first lady offer condolences to AAPI community

Pope Francis was among those offering condolences, saying in a message to the Los Angeles archbishop that he “implores the divine gifts of healing and consolation upon the injured and bereaved.”

Wiese said he’s seen a lot during his three decade career, but some of the first officers on the scene were rookies who had never faced such carnage and the trauma will be hard to forget.

Paramedics were loading the wounded into ambulances and treating others inside when the chief arrived. There were bodies every 10 feet: some slumped over tables, others sprawled on the dance floor.

“It’s hard to put words to it,” he said. “It takes your breath away when you see it. And it kind of burns the image into your brain.”

Melley reported from Los Angeles. Associated Press journalist Julie Watson in San Diego contributed to this report.

Source link

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Monica has a BA in Journalism and English from the University of Massachusetts and an MS in Journalism and Communications from Quinnipiac University. Monica has worked as a journalist for over 20 years covering all things entertainment. She has covered everything from San Diego Comic-Con, The SAG Awards, Academy Awards, and more. Monica has been published in Variety, Swagger Magazine, Emmy Magazine, CNN, AP, Hidden Remote, and more. For the past 10 years, she has added PR and marketing to her list of talents as the president of Prime Entertainment Publicity, LLC. Monica is ready for anything and is proudly obsessed with pop culture.

No comments

leave a comment

Social Media Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com