THE Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles on Tuesday confirmed that a Filipino-American was among the casualties in the mass shooting that killed 11 people and injured nine others when a gunman opened fire at a crowded dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday night.
Filipino-American Valentino Alvero, 68, was among those who died after the suspect, identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, went on a shooting spree then fled the scene and traveled to nearby Alhambra, where he allegedly entered a second dance hall before being disarmed there that same night.
Reports said Tran was found dead on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a van in Torrance, about 30 miles southwest of Monterey Park.
In a statement, the Philippine Consulate expressed its shock and great sadness over the mass shooting incident.
“Our prayers go out to the families of the victims and we mourn with them during this lunar new year festival, which is supposed to be a time of gathering and celebration,” the Consulate General said.
“After closely monitoring the incident and sustained coordination with law enforcement, Filipino-American organizations and media, the Consulate General received tragic news that one “kababayan” Mr. Valentino Alvero, 68 years old, a US citizen of Filipino descent was among the casualties of the shooting,” it said.
The Consulate General understands the family’s desire for privacy and space during this time of unimaginable difficulty.
“Nevertheless, we are ready to assist them in whatever possible way should they reach out for any help we could give,” it added.
The Consulate General also called on the Filipino community to exercise caution and continue being vigilant during these uncertain times.
“Always monitor your loved ones’ and family members’ whereabouts. Immediately report any suspicious activities to local law enforcement and watch out for each other,” it added.