MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – As investigators began probing the killing of 11 people at a dance studio in this predominately Asian American community, Asian Americans across the nation say the shooting has revived the fears and trauma brought on by a wave of hate incidents and tragedies that have struck the community over the past few years.
On Sunday evening, authorities identified the shooter as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man, and said he died of a self-inflicted wound earlier in the day. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that the suspect was carrying what he described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine and that a second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran was found dead.
Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, a San Francisco-based organization formed during the COVID-19 pandemic to combat and gather data about rising anti-Asian hate, called the crime “devastating beyond words.”
Stop AAPI Hate has received more than 11,000 reports of anti-AAPI hate incidents since it began tracking such data in March 2020, Kulkarni said.
“After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare,” she said. “This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shock waves through our community and resurfacing all-too-familiar feelings of pain and fear.”