911 calls released in fatal Monterey Park shooting – NBC Chicago

The first 911 call about a shooting at a dance hall in Monterey Park was received at 10:22 p.m.

Others quickly followed a chaotic and tragic night during Lunar New Year celebrations in the San Gabriel Valley community east of Los Angeles.

One of the first callers desperately needed help in the parking lot outside Star Ballroom Dance Studio. Someone had opened fire on his car as he and his girlfriend were driving away, he told a fire dispatcher.

Dispatcher: “Is your girlfriend awake?”

Caller: “I’m not sure.”

The dispatcher asked if the victim could speak.

Caller: “No, she can’t talk.”

Dispatcher: “Is she breathing? Breathe.”

After a pause, the man said, “No, maybe she’s dead. I am not sure.

“Paramedics and police are coming,” the dispatcher said after the caller described the victim’s condition.

The call was one of many February 21s from the dance hall where 11 people, aged 57 to 76, were killed and nine were injured. The shooter who opened fire in the parking lot entered the ballroom, showering the room with gunfire, authorities said.

The calls with police and fire dispatchers were released Thursday by the Monterey Park City clerk. They offer more details about the timeline of events that night and the despair and terror faced by the callers.

Authorities responding to initial calls found victims in the parking lot and inside the ballroom.

On another call to 911, the caller told the dispatcher that the shooter appeared to be reloading his gun. Another call was received from the nearby Clam House restaurant, where people who had just entered reported a man with a gun.

The caller can be heard talking to witnesses who saw the gunman.

Dispatcher: “Where did this person go?”

Caller: “I have no idea.”

Another caller said the shooter had just left the dance studio.

Caller: “Someone is using a gun and shooting people inside the studio. We just walked out.”

The dispatcher asked the caller to confirm that the address is Star Ballroom Dance Studio.

Dispatcher: “How long ago?”

Caller: “Just two minutes ago.”

Dispatcher: “Can you see if anyone is hurt?”

Caller: “I don’t know. It happened so fast.”

Police and firefighters can be heard trying to reassure callers that help was on the way and attempting to determine the location of the shooter.

The shooter entered another ballroom near the Alhambra, where he was disarmed by a man in the lobby, an act of courage that authorities say likely saved lives. The shooter died hours later in a Torrance Mall parking lot from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, authorities said.

Authorities continue to explore possible motives for the shooting. The shooter had no known personal connection to anyone in the dance hall and had not visited the studio in the past five years.

NBC Chicago

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