A Lunar New Year Celebration Ending in Tragedy

A Lunar New Year Celebration at Monterey Park results in 10 dead and 10 injured.

CNN

A Lunar New Year Celebration at Monterey Park results in 10 dead and 10 injured.

Katelyn Ruggles, Editor-in-Chief

On January 21st, a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park ended in a horrific shooting, leaving 10 dead and 10 wounded. Prior to the shooting, there was a city-wide celebration for Lunar New Year held at Monterey Park, several miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Being one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in Southern California, about 100,000 residents attended the two-day festival, according to Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese (KTLA 5).  

 

At around 10:20 PM, the suspect entered the ballroom where the celebration was held, opened fire on the crowd and killed ten people, five men and five women. The other ten injured were rushed to the hospital, their conditions ranging from stable to critical (KTLA 5). The suspect, a 72-year-old man, fled the scene before the police arrived at around 10:30 PM. 

I always spent Lunar New Years at my great grandma’s house and when I learned that the shooting was only 15 minutes away, it left an eerie feeling within me the entire day.”

— Anita Tun

Anita Tun (12) happened to be celebrating Lunar New Years with her family not too far away from the incident. “I always spent Lunar New Years at my great grandma’s house and when I learned that the shooting was only 15 minutes away, it left an eerie feeling within me the entire day,” she says. 

 

Though the motives of the shooting are unclear, it is assumed that this was an act of hate crime. The city of Monterey Park has a large population of Asian Immigrants or their descendants, most being Chinese (KTLA 5). Monterey Park prides themselves on being a representation of Asian communities. L.A. County Supervisor Hilda Solis writes in a twitter post, “For decades, the city has elevated the cultures and histories of AAPIs in this country – breaking barriers and challenging stereotypes along the way.” 

 

A senior at Yorba Linda High School, Camille Khong (12), comments on how “it was extremely disheartening to see this tragedy occur” during a celebration that is an “integral part of the Asian community.” She also touches on the victims, saying “during this time, families usually pray for good fortune and blessings for the near year. Now, we are praying the victims rest peacefully and their families get the justice they deserve.” 

 

With 10 people dying, this shooting has become the deadliest since the Texas school shooting on May 24th, 2022, where 24 people died. The police are still on the hunt for the killer. During tragic times like this, it is important to think of those affected by the shooting, hoping that, as Camille stated, they get the justice they deserve.