LA prosecutor mourns mass shooting that rocked ‘close-knit’ community as suspect remains at large

Los Angeles deputy district attorney John McKinney called for unity in Los Angeles in the wake of a mass shooting in Monterey Park that left at least 10 people dead as the gunman remained on the loose Sunday

“Los Angeles, as big as we are and as many people as there are, it is still a community that comes together anytime there’s a tragedy like this,” McKinney told Fox News Digital of the Saturday shooting, as the community was left mourning at a time when residents would typically be celebrating the Lunar New York.

“So part of me being here this morning is to show my support and unity,” he said in a phone interview after arriving in Monterey Park early Sunday. “It doesn’t matter [which city] you’re from in Los Angeles County. On a day like this, we’re all one.”

McKinney was scheduled to join Chester Chong, the president of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, as he addresses residents of the city.


Police investigate a scene where a shooting took place in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. Dozens of police officers responded to reports of a shooting that occurred after a large Lunar New Year celebration had ended in a community east of Los Angeles late Saturday.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“The media really wants to hear from him today. He speaks for the community,” McKinney said of Chong. The deputy DA added that he hopes to talk to some business owners on Sunday, noting his office in East LA is located about five minutes from where the shooting unfolded.

“Although my job is to oversee the processing of misdemeanor crimes, it still brings me into this community two or three times a week, and I feel a certain familiarity with the community,” he said.

Deputy District Attorney John McKinney (R) speaks to the jury as Judge H. Clay Jacke listens during closing arguments in the People v Eric Holder, Jr. trial over the death of Nipsey Hussle on June 30, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederic J. Brown-Pool/Getty Images)
(Frederic J. Brown-Pool/Getty Images)

Officials confirmed Sunday that 10 people were killed and at least 10 other people were injured and taken to local hospitals after a man opened fire on people shortly after festivities for the Lunar New Year wrapped up in the city. The shooting was carried out on West Garvey Avenue at about 10:22 p.m., according to authorities.


A police officer ties tape around a light pole in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A mass shooting took place at a dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration, setting off a manhunt for the suspect.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Monterey Park is located about 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles and has about a 65% Asian American population, the LA Times reported. Authorities described the suspect as an Asian male between the ages of 30 and 50, but did not release additional information or a potential motive for the shooting.

The suspect fled the scene following the rampage and is still at large

The victims include five men and five women, and were all “probably” of Asian descent, according to LA County Sheriff Robert Luna.

McKinney said that he’s anticipating a “very thorough” investigation by law enforcement and will then focus on “the next phase” of the matter: how to deal with the suspect legally.

Law enforcement personnel gather outside a ballroom dance club in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A mass shooting took place at the dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration, setting off a manhunt for the suspect.
(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

“It’s premature to speculate about how [Los Angeles District Attorney George] Gascon will handle this matter, given his policies. But anytime you have 10 deaths, obviously it’s going to be a pretty serious case,” he said.

McKinney added that an important question weighing on him just hours after the shooting is: The community is “relatively safe – you know, very, very low amount of any kind of serious violence in Monterey Park – it’s a thriving business community, close-knit folks who live in a little bit of a bubble relative to the rest of Los Angeles. How does a community like this come back?”

As of the phone interview on Sunday morning, Monterey Park was still just waking up and perhaps even learning of the shooting, McKinney said.


“They’re gonna start to gather in this area I’m sure as the morning goes by,” he said. He later added, “I don’t think you’re going to see, at least initially, any extraordinary changes in people’s behavior, people just seem to be gathering and talking. And trying to understand what happened.”