Minutes after Monterey Park shooting, bystanders wrestled gun away from suspect in Alhambra

ByAmy Powell and ABC7.com staff KABC logo
Sunday, January 22, 2023
Image shows man disarm Monterey Park shooting suspect in Alhambra
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A surveillance image shows the moment a man inside an Alhambra ballroom disarmed the Monterey Park shooting suspect.

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (KABC) -- Less than 20 minutes after the mass shooting in Monterey Park, bystanders wrestled a gun away from a man at a dance hall in Alhambra, officials say.

That man was confirmed to be 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, the same suspect who shot at least 20 people in Monterey Park.

The Alhambra incident at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio was reported about 17-20 minutes after the mass shooting in nearby Monterey Park, in which 10 people were killed and 10 were injured.

WATCH: Minutes after Monterey Park shooting, bystanders wrestled gun away from suspect in Alhambra

At the Alhambra ballroom, Tran walked in with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

A surveillance image obtained by Eyewitness News shows the moment a man inside the Lai Lai Ballroom confronted the suspect and disarmed him.

Tran then fled the scene. Witnesses reported seeing a white cargo van in the area. Later in the day Sunday, a SWAT team surrounded a white van in a Torrance parking lot that was believed to be linked to the same suspect.

Nobody was injured in Alhambra and investigators cleared the scene by 7 a.m.

Eyewitness News spoke with people who take dance lessons at the Lai Lai Ballroom and others who knew the victims and said they're shocked and heartbroken.

"It would be upsetting for anyone because some of them were my friends and I've known them for a long time," said George Reyes. "I know the owner for a long time, I know the previous owner. It's upsetting, I mean, you know, this tragedy shouldn't happen."

Meanwhile, the Lai Lai Ballroom was closed on Sunday after the deadly shooting and said it'll reopen on Monday for those taking lessons only.

"As an extra precaution, all students and teachers are subject to search prior to entering the studio. Our prayers go out to all the victims' families," read the statement.

Investigators recovered a weapon at the scene, which was described as a magazine-fed semi-automatic assault pistol that had an extended large capacity magazine, ABC News learned.

When asked if that recovered weapon could be the same gun used in Monterey Park, Luna responded: "It absolutely could be. We don't know yet."