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HALF MOON BAY: Police are investigating a new shooting in California’s Asian community on Tuesday that killed seven people on farms on Monday, after eleven people were killed at a nightclub last weekend, with no reason yet has not been clarified.

“I’m at the hospital treating victims of a mass shooting when I’m called to report another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy after tragedy,” California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted.

A 67-year-old named Chunli Zhao, suspected of being behind the attacks on two farms near San Francisco, has been taken into custody, according to San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus.

The seven victims are Chinese agricultural workers and an eighth person was seriously injured, she said, adding that a semi-automatic pistol was found in the arrested man’s vehicle.

The tragedy came less than 48 hours after a man broke into the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, 600 kilometers to the south, on Saturday night, where he fired 42 shots and killed 11 men and women, all over the age of 50.

After this carnage, which also left 9 wounded, the gunman, Huu Can Tran, 72, tried to continue his murderous night at another dance hall not far away, but was disarmed there before fleeing and committing suicide in his van, surrounded by police.

‘Without a reason’

Many gray areas remain about this suspect. His criminal record mentions only one arrest in 1994 for illegal possession of a firearm, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.

“We still don’t have a motive,” the sheriff admitted Monday at a news conference.

Investigators are currently exploring links between the killer and the two dance halls, in particular the relationship he had there, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cites law enforcement sources.

On Sunday, a local businessman had already mentioned to AFP the clue of possible jealousy to explain this massacre.

“The wife was invited to the party, but the husband couldn’t be invited,” said Chester Chong, an acquaintance of a dance instructor. “And the husband can be angry and jealous.”

“Face Without History”

Many residents remained incredulous on Monday in this city of 60,000 near Los Angeles, with an Asian majority, known for its tranquility.

Huu Can Tran emigrated from China to the United States, he told CNN that his ex-wife met two decades earlier at this same Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

The couple quickly married, but the union did not last. He wasn’t violent, according to her, but sometimes he lost his temper if he felt humiliated, if she missed a dance step, for example.

According to a former friend, also interviewed by the American channel, the killer regularly attended the ballroom, where he was, however, “hostile with many people”, whom he accused of saying “unpleasant things about him”.

His mobile home in Hemet, about 140 km east of Los Angeles, was searched, Luna said, adding that a gun and ammunition were found.

President Joe Biden expressed his outrage and ordered federal flags lowered to half-mast.

‘So suddenly’

Visiting Monterey Park on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom criticized the uncontrollable proliferation of firearms in the United States.

“It’s a shame,” criticized the Democrat. “We must do better than that, we must lead the way for the world, not just respond to these countless crises and say, over and over again, those damn prayers and condolences.”

About 49,000 people died from gunshots in 2021 in the United States, up from 45,000 in 2020, already a record year. That’s more than 130 deaths a day, more than half of which are suicides.

The Los Angeles medical examiner identified four of the victims: My Nhan, 65, Valentino Alvero, 68, Xiujuan Yu, 57, and Lilan Li, 63.

“We enter the Lunar New Year with a broken heart. We never imagined that she could die so suddenly,” My Nhan’s family said on social media.

Killed Sunday in Torrance, about 45 km from Monterey Park, Huu Can Tran could have claimed more victims without the heroism of an employee of the establishment, not far from there, where he intended to continue his massacre.

“My heart stopped” when the killer aimed his gun with a high-capacity clip, Brandon Tsay, 26, told the New York Times. “At that moment, survival instinct” took over and he successfully pounced on the individual, preventing further carnage.

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