NEW YORK – Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles has offered prayers for the 10 people killed in a Jan. 21 shooting at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, California.

“We pray for those injured in this shooting, we ask that God stay close to their families and loved ones,” Gomez said in a Jan. 22 statement. “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.”

The shooting took place at a Lunar New Year celebration at the Star Ballroom Studio. In addition to the 10 people killed – five men and five women –, another 10 people were injured. Monterey Park is a city of about 60,000 people on the eastern edge of Los Angeles, with a predominantly Asian population.

Late on Jan. 22, authorities found the suspected gunman dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the van he used to flee a second attack attempt at a different location that was thwarted by patrons inside. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the man as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran.

Luna said there are no other suspects at large, and a motive remains unknown. The sheriff added that all of the victims in the shooting appeared to be over the age of 50, and seven of the wounded people remain hospitalized.

Gomez asked that “God grant wisdom and prudence to law enforcement and public officials working to make sense of the violence and keep our communities safe.”

The mass shooting in Monterey Park is the deadliest in the United States since last May, when a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, taking the lives of 19 children and two teachers. There have been 33 mass shootings – instances where four or more people are shot or killed –  in the United States so far in 2023, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Gomez also prayed for peace in the “hearts of those who are troubled,” and 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,” Gomez said. “We pray that we might feel God’s love and know that he will deliver us from every evil.”

“We ask Our Blessed Mother Mary to intercede for us, to be mother to us in this hour of pain and uncertainty,” the archbishop continued. “May she help us to care for those who are suffering and to be healers and peacemakers in our world.”

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