It’s immediately clear that Monterey Park is unlike anywhere else in California.

The small city of about 61,000 people is eight miles east of downtown Los Angeles but it could be a different country, with its Chinese supermarkets, dumpling restaurants and shop signs written in Chinese alongside English.

More than 65% of residents here are Asian American. It is, as one scholar has defined it, “an ethnic enclave in the suburbs that thrives because it refuses to assimilate, instead unapologetically catering to its immigrant community.” “.

Still, it is not immune to most American tragedies. But even as Monterey Park comes to terms. 10 people were shot dead. During a ballroom dance class, there is a calm and peaceful solution.

In front of a police cordon on the street where the massacre took place, a group of people kneel in prayer, asking their god for strength.

Lunar New Year celebrations have been cancelled.

Chinese New Year began over the weekend, and in the hours before the shooting, the street was packed with thousands of people listening to live music or buying meat skewers from food stalls.

“It’s terrible, this is happening to so many people at Christmas or something, it’s just terrible,” Robert Chao Romero, a professor of Asian American studies at UCLA, told me.

On Sunday, families with children dressed in traditional Chinese costumes flocked to Monterey Park from other parts of L.A., expecting the second day of Lunar New Year festivities to continue, but they saw stalls and signs being dismantled and police cordoned off. reached.

When they found out the reason, they panicked.

A local woman came to lay flowers but was left in tears at the thought of what Monterey Park should have looked like this weekend.

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“I was really looking forward to celebrating,” says Diana Trujillo, who is part of the Hispanic population in Monterey Park.

“It’s heartbreaking, it hits me that this is happening to these families. This is one of the most united, kind and friendly communities.

“I may not be celebrating but I wanted to be a part of it to let the Asian community know that they are very special to me.”

An evening news conference revealed that a 72-year-old suspect was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a white van 30 miles away in Torrance.

The immediate threat to Monterey Park was over, much to the relief of those who had been terrorized for hours, but gun violence is a never-ending scourge of life in America.

It’s the deadliest mass shooting since an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killed 19 children and two teachers last May, but it’s far from the only one.

Police are using armored vehicles to surround a white cargo van that law enforcement believes is linked to the suspect in the Monterey Park mass shooting, according to an ABC affiliate, as SWAT Team 22 In a still image from video approaching a parking lot in Torrance, California, in January 2023.  ABC affiliate KABC via REUTERS No resale.  No archives.  Compulsory credit
The gunman was found dead in the white van.

There have been 33 mass shootings since the turn of the year — defined by the Gun Violence Archive when four or more people, including the shooter, are injured or killed.

Police believe the Monterey Park gunman used a semi-automatic rifle, which may have been illegally obtained, to kill and maim.

California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, but even that wasn’t enough to stop a determined killer.

Another mass shooting has sparked another chorus of calls for stricter gun control, particularly on automatic and semi-automatic weapons, which are designed to kill.

But America’s long list of mass shootings tells us that any meaningful change is unlikely in the near future.

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