California Suffers Three Mass Shootings Over Three Days

Three mass shooting occurred within three days in the state of California.


Mark Abramson | The New York Times

A memorial of flowers lays outside of the gate of the dance studio in Monterey Park following the shooting on Jan. 22

Lily Wilkin, Co-Copy Editor

19 lives taken in just 44 short hours. Between Sat., Jan. 21, and Mon., Jan. 23, California saw three mass shootings, with multiple deaths and injuries. First in Monterey Park, then Half Moon Bay, and finally in Oakland. 

On Sat., Jan 21, the first day of the Lunar New year, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran opened fire at a dance studio celebration in Monterey Park California. According to authorities, 11 people between the ages of 57-76 were killed. 

The motivations for this shooting remain unknown. According to CNN Tran fled the scene after unleashing 42 rounds of ammunition into the crowd. After fleeing, he was wrestled to the ground by an unnamed civilian, and found in an unmarked white van days later with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. 

For many Asian Americans the celebration of the Lunar New Year is one of hope and happiness, but for the people at the dance studio that night, it was anything but that., “We come together with families. We eat well. We have parades. (The shooting) is equivalent to having, in many parts of America, somebody gunned down at a Christmas Day parade,” CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice Connie Chung Joe said. 

The second shooting occurred Monday, Jan. 23, in Half Moon Bay, a small seaside town, at a mushroom farm. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s office stated it was an “incident of workplace violence”. 

Chunli Zhao allegedly killed four people at the California mushroom farm, and three others at a trucking facility around two miles down the road. Zhao has since been taken into custody. 

Authorities believe that the motivation behind the crime was some kind of discourse between Zhao and the victims, because “he had an opportunity we do believe to hurt other people, but he had targeted individuals that he went after and pursued,” San Mateo County Sheriff Christina Corpus said. 

Finally, Monday evening there was another targeted shooting in Oakland, Ca. During the filming of a music video, gunfire rained down on the actors and producers. Authorities believe this is a targeted incident committed by a gang or other group of people. 

Following the tragic events, California Governor Gavin Newsom has called for federal action regarding the laws surrounding gun safety. So far in 2023, there have been 40 incidents of mass gun violence. This is a breaking record amount of mass shootings to ever happen in a month.