Vice President Harris visits the site of the Monterey Park shooting tragedy

MONTEREY PARK, Calif. — Vice President Kamala Harris arrived outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park on Wednesday evening, stopping to take a look at the names and photos of each of the shooting victims. murderer on Saturday before placing a bouquet in front of the memorial.

Harris told reporters the nation mourned the loss of the 11 people killed and nine others injured, while advocating for tougher gun control laws.

“Tragically, we keep saying the same things,” Harris said. “Congress must act. Should they? Yes. Can they? Yes.”

Biden calls for quick congressional action

The Monterey Park shooting came days before seven people were killed in two shootings near the northern California community of Half Moon Bay on Monday. Neither Harris nor President Joe Biden has confirmed whether they will travel to Half Moon Bay this week, but Biden said he has spoken to California Governor Gavin Newsom and local leaders and pledged federal government support. .

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) introduced new legislation on Monday that would ban assault weapons and raise the minimum age to purchase assault weapons to 21.

The shooter used a modified semi-automatic weapon in the Monterey Park shooting. Authorities have yet to determine the motive of the shooter, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.

Biden urged Congress to “act quickly and get this assault weapons ban back to my desk,” but the bill is unlikely to pass the Republican-led House.

“While we await further details on these shootings, we know the scourge of gun violence across America requires stronger action,” Biden said in a statement.

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Vigils have been held every day since the shooting, including the nearly 1,000 people who gathered outside Monterey Park City Hall on Tuesday night. Those at the vigil spoke about not letting the shooting define the city and the need for gun control.

“This is a community that so many people have aspired to, from so many diverse places, striving to fulfill their dreams,” said Councilman Thomas Wong.

Paul Hsu, a 77-year-old Alhambra resident, said he told Ming Wei Ma, the 72-year-old studio manager, was killed in the shooting nearly a decade ago at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio needed an armed security guard in front of the entrance, but the idea was rejected because of the costs.

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Contributor: Joey Garrison and Tami Abdollah, USA TODAY

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

USA Today

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