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Los Angeles archbishop prays for victims of shooting at dance studio

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Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez on Sunday offered prayers for victims of a Saturday shooting at a Monterey Park, California, ballroom dance studio.

“We pray for those killed and injured in this shooting, we ask that God stay close to their families and loved ones,” the archbishop said in a statement released Sunday. “We pray for the wounded to be healed, and we ask that God give strength and guidance to the doctors and nurses who are caring for them.”

Ten people were killed and at least 10 more were wounded after a gunman opened fire late Saturday night at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park. Twenty minutes after the shooting, the 72-year-old suspect entered another nearby dance studio but was disarmed by two community members, the Los Angeles Times reported. The suspect then fled in a white cargo van.

The shooting, one of the worst in Los Angeles County history, took place in the midst of a two-day Lunar New Year festival that attracted tens of thousands of participants to what is considered a core of the Southern California Chinese community, according to the Times.

On Sunday morning, police found the van seen leaving the area of the shooting and, when they approached it, heard a single gunshot. Authorities later determined that the suspect, Huu Can Tran from nearby Hemet, California, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, the Times said.

“We still are not clear on the motive,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

“We ask that God grant wisdom and prudence to law enforcement and public officials working to make sense of the violence and keep our communities safe,” Archbishop Gomez said in his statement.

“And we pray for peace. Peace in the hearts of those who are troubled. Peace in the hearts of those who are afraid and hurting today, and peace for those whose faith has been shaken.”

“We pray also for peace in our own hearts,” he continued. “We pray that we might feel God’s love and know that he will deliver us from every evil.”

The archbishop concluded by asking for the intercession of the Blessed Mother, “to be a mother to us in this hour of pain and uncertainty. May she help us to care for those who are suffering and to be healers and peacemakers in our world.”

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Los Angeles archbishop prays for victims of shooting at dance studio