Investigators found a number of “interesting items” in the RV of a suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Monday, Jan. 23.
Speaking at a news conference, Luna said the items recovered included a .308 caliber rifle, computers and telephones, materials showing the suspect was “manufacturing homemade firearm silencers” and “hundreds of rounds” of ammunition.
Luna confirmed the death toll in the shooting had risen to 11 on Monday. The sheriff also said the motive was still undetermined.
The suspect, a 72-year-old man, died of self-inflicted injuries Sunday when police surrounded his vehicle in the parking lot of a shopping center in Torrance. Source: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department via Storyful
ROBERT LUNA: Let’s start with the fact that our homicide investigators are still working very hard, as they did yesterday, all night and today. It’s a very complex investigation. There are so many other things we don’t know. But as I told you yesterday when we started or when we get more information, we will be happy to provide it as soon as we get it.
And it’s not just the Sheriff’s Department that’s working on it. We continue to work very hard with our partners at the FBI, ATF, District Attorney’s office, the list goes on. Anyway, we have additional information that we will share with you today.
I think some of this information may have leaked out in the last few hours, but I am sorry to inform everyone that we unfortunately have an 11th victim who has died. So we have a total of 11 victims who unfortunately died as a result of this tragic event.
I also want to share the names of the three victims where… and that’s the key, I’m sharing them because next of kin notifications have ended. This is number one, My Nhan, female, 65, Lilan Li, female, 63, and Alvaro Valentino, male, 68.
I’ll stay there for a while. It’s not that much, because the sirens are wailing. But when you think about it, these are three people who are no longer with us, three families that will never be the same. And we have to remember that when we talk about this, it really should be about the victims and their families at the end of the day. And support and love, our prayers, our thoughts should be with all of them as we move forward.
As most of you know, last night we issued a search warrant for the suspect’s residence in the city of Hemet. As a result of the search warrant service, investigators recovered several items of interest. It’s just… it’s a summary, not everything we recovered.
We found one .308 caliber rifle, numerous electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, and so on, items that lead us to believe that the suspect was manufacturing home-made silencers for firearms, unknown quantity, I say unknown quantity, and I’ll explain this here, ammunition caliber .308 and 9 millimeters. And the reason we say it’s an unknown quantity was in the containers. And there are hundreds of rounds. We don’t know exactly how many there were, lots of loose ammo, so eventually, you know, we’ll know exactly how many there were.
From the Monterey Park crime scene where the victims were murdered, investigators recovered a total of 42 cartridge cases and a high-capacity magazine. So the suspect fired 42 rounds at this location. Investigators also recovered a 7.62-by-25 Norinco pistol from inside the suspect’s van. This is the gun you saw retrieved from the van yesterday afternoon. This firearm was registered to the suspect.
The clothes that the suspect was wearing during the crime were also at the scene. This was also recovered from the van. We also learned that the firearm that was taken from the suspect at the Alhambra crime scene was a 9mm MAC-10 semi-automatic assault weapon.
I want to emphasize that all recovered firearms still require additional forensic ballistics tests and comparisons that we conduct with our partners, as well as additional investigations into the origin of the suspect. Lots of work to do, but we don’t want to leave any stone unturned. We are still unable to provide additional information and images of the weapon.
And that’s one thing, I’ve been pushing our people to post a picture of the weapons we recovered, but there are still witnesses who need to identify some of these things. And if we put them there, it will start to affect the investigation. That’s why we don’t publish photos yet.
As for the background of the suspect, he has a limited criminal record, with an arrest in 1990 for illegal possession of a firearm. I’d like to take a moment to also thank Mr. Brandon Tsay for his heroic action that saved countless lives. He is the hero who disarmed the suspect in the Alhambra location and, in my opinion, saved many lives.
We originally determined that there were two people. We eventually find out, as we usually do when these things are investigated, that there was really only one person who disarmed them. But as you know, we are trying to spread the word. It was preliminary. So there was one. And that’s his name. And what a brave man he is.