The driver of a white pickup truck linked to the Monterey Park mass shooting has been found dead after apparently shooting himself after being surrounded by police in nearby Torrance, California, according to multiple reports.
A gunman killed at least 10 people after a Lunar New Year festival near Los Angeles on Sunday night. It was not immediately clear if the body found in the van was the suspect identified earlier in the day by police.
Police released on Sundayof an Asian male suspect in a black leather jacket, black and white beanie and glasses, but declined to share the suspect’s name.
At a press conference Sunday afternoon, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna addressed the “tactical incident” taking place in Torrance, where police and SWAT armored vehicles surrounded the “white box van ”.
Authorities said at the news conference that they believed a person was in the vehicle, but they did not have a clear idea of the individual’s condition and indicated that the driver may be dead.
“People have asked: is that your suspect? We don’t know… There’s a van that looks like the one described to us in the city of Torrance. It is a suspicious situation with barricades,” Luna said.
The suspected driver is believed to have died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to The Los Angeles Times.
CNN reported that when officers told the occupant to get out of the vehicle, they heard what they believe was the sound of the driver shooting himself.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Office of Special Enforcement tweeted Sunday afternoon that its operation involving the van was complete. “Safe neighborhood,”.
Although images of a single suspect were circulating Sunday, the sheriff did not rule out the possibility that multiple suspects and multiple weapons were used in the incident. Luna did not share details about a weapon seized at the scene, but said the weapon was “not a high-powered assault rifle.”
“Like I say, there may be more suspects, we think there is one, there may be more, we have to assume there may be more than one weapon, right? We may have recovered one. When we find him, that doesn’t mean he’s not armed and dangerous,” Luna said.
The Monterey Park shooting occurred at a dance club Saturday night, killing 10 and injuring 10 others. The suspect’s motive is unknown, but Luna did not rule out a possible hate crime.
The suspect’s name in circulating photos is being withheld for fear that posting it could “inhibit our ability to potentially arrest the suspect if he is out there or perhaps on the run.”[ing]Luna said.