Chicago Police To Increase Security at Lunar New Year Celebrations After Massacre in California

(WTTW News)(WTTW News)

Chicago police said they’ll beef up security for Lunar New Year celebrations in the city after 10 people were killed during a shooting at a Los Angeles-area ballroom dance club over the weekend.

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According to the Chicago Police Department, command staff officials, alderpeople, Mayor Lori Lightfoot and representative from other city departments spoke with leaders in the city’s Asian American Pacific Islander community Sunday night to discuss the Monterey Park, Cal., shooting.

“While there is no actionable intelligence in Chicago, we are strengthening security for Lunar New Year celebrations in the upcoming days by increasing our visibility and presence at these events,” a police spokesperson said in a statement Monday. “Our business liaison officers and community policing officers will also remain in communication with the AAPI community throughout the Lunar New Year activities.”

While the first day of the Lunar New Year was Sunday, celebrations last 15 days and there are multiple events scheduled across Chicago, including parades and concerts.

“We all have the right to feel safe and be free from gun violence and when any part of our community is threatened, we all are,” Lightfoot tweeted Sunday. “As we begin our celebrations of the Lunar New Year here in Chicago, working with community leaders, we will redouble our efforts to make sure that all of our neighbors and residents can do so, safely and without fear.”

The massacre was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month, and it struck one of California's largest celebrations of a holiday observed in many Asian cultures, dealing another blow to a community that has been the target of high-profile violence in recent years.

It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.

Law enforcement officials said the rampage could have been even deadlier. When the gunman arrived at a second dance hall, he was confronted in the lobby and fled after his weapon was wrested from him, The New York Times reported.

The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday.

The massacre sent shock waves through Asian American communities around the nation, prompting police from San Francisco to New York to step up patrols at Lunar New Year celebrations in their own cities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Matt Masterson: @ByMattMasterson[email protected] | (773) 509-5431

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