MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (KTLA) – Chilling 911 calls released Thursday captured the terror as a gunman walked into the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, and opened fire on a crowd celebrating the Lunar New Year, killing 11 people and wounding nine.
“Somebody is shooting a gun … shooting people inside the studio,” one man frantically tells an emergency dispatcher while the gunman, later identified as Huu Can Tran, was apparently still inside. “The guy is reloading.”
“Is anyone hurt?” the dispatcher asks.
“I don’t know! You gotta send police here right away! He might start shooting again,” he tells her.
“How long ago?” the dispatcher asks.
“Just two minutes ago!” he shouts.
“Can you see if anyone is hurt?” she asks again.
“I don’t know! It happened too fast. Everybody ran away,” he says. “It could be the people close to the entrance. He just started shooting.”
“It was a male. Just one guy … I thought he was using fireworks,” he adds.
Another caller, who said his girlfriend was unconscious with an apparent wound to her head, said the gunman shot at his car.
“We start(ed) the car and tried to leave and suddenly someone comes next to the window and shoots the window,” the caller says.
Authorities say Tran, 72, used a 9-millimeter MAC-10 rifle in the Jan. 21 mass shooting, which was the nation’s deadliest since the May 24, 2022, shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, which left 21 people dead.
After leaving the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, authorities say Tran targeted another dance studio in nearby Alhambra but was disarmed by a manager before he could fire a shot.
Tran later took his own life when he was surrounded by authorities in Torrance, roughly 30 miles southwest of the shooting scene.
Authorities have not yet established a clear motive.