A young girl covers her ears as a display of firecrackers explodes. Photo by Chris Stone
A young girl covers her ears as firecrackers explode at last year’s Lunar New Year celebration at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park. Photo by Chris Stone

The San Diego Police Department plans to increase officer presence at local Lunar New Year celebrations Sunday in the wake of Saturday night’s mass shooting at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park.

Ten people were killed and at least 10 others were wounded in the attack that occurred at 10:22 p.m. Saturday at the Star Dance Studio in the 100 block of West Garvey Avenue in the southeast Los Angeles County community.

“Our hearts are with community members of Monterey Park as they lean upon each other for strength and healing during this difficult time. Although there are no known threats here in San Diego, you will see an increased police presence at our events here,” SDPD Chief David Nisleit tweeted Sunday.

The city’s Lunar New Year Festival was scheduled to start at 11 a.m. at Officer Jeremy Henwood Memorial Park, 4455 Wightman St. An event organizer said the festival would go on as planned, featuring folk and traditional performances, arts and cultural exhibitions, lion dances, firecrackers and family activities.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said investigators were not yet sure if the Monterey Park shooting was connected to a nearby Lunar New Year celebration, but he said he would be attending a similar event on Sunday, and encouraged the public to continue celebrating the holiday.

San Diego City Councilman Kent Lee reacted to the shooting by saying “we are heartbroken for the loss of life in Monterey Park and share our condolences to the many families impacted as we await additional details regarding this tragic incident.”

“We recognize the resilience of our AAPI communities and ask that the entire San Diego community stand with them throughout this time,” Kent said.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock