Police were responding to reports of a shooting that resulted in multiple casualties in Monterey Park on Saturday night, according to a police source.
Few details were available, including the number of people shot. Internal police communications said there were some deaths.
Seung Won Choi, who owns a seafood steakhouse across the street from where the shooting took place on Garvey Avenue, said three people rushed into his restaurant and told him to lock the door.
They said there was a man with a machine gun in the area. The gunman, they said, had several rounds of ammo with him, so once his ammo ran out, the gunman reloaded, Choi said.
Choi said he believed the shooting took place at an area nightclub.
The shooting took place around 10 pm near the site of a Chinese Lunar New Year celebration. Tens of thousands gathered on Saturday for the start of a two-day festival, one of the biggest Lunar New Year events in the region.
Earlier in the day, crowds were enjoying skewers and buying Chinese food and jewelry. Saturday’s New Year festival time was scheduled from 10am to 9pm
John, 27, who declined to give his last name, lives near the scene of the shooting. He got home around 10 pm and heard about 4 or 5 shots, he said. Then he heard police cars “breaking” down the street. He went down at about 11:20 pm to see if the shooting took place at the New Year festival.
“My first concern was that they are having a Lunar New Year celebration,” he said. But he said he saw the party was already set up for the day when he arrived. He went to the scene of the shooting and saw a person being placed on a stretcher. Another person had a bandage on his arm.
A video on social media showed police and fire units storming an area on Garvey Avenue and treating victims.
The injured were taken to several hospitals in the area.
It was unclear if a suspect was in custody.
This is breaking news. It will be updated as more information becomes available.
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