Chicago area police monitoring 2023 Lunar New Year celebration in wake of Monterey Park mass shooting

CHICAGO (WLS) — In just days, Chicago’s Chinatown streets will be filled by the hundreds for the Lunar New Year parade – bringing with it the uninvited feeling of concern in the wake of the deadly mass shooting in California.

While Chicago Police said they aren’t investigating any known threats to upcoming events, the department said officers are still prepared.

“I hope it doesn’t set the tone for what 2023 is going to bring. Right? No more shootings. It would be great if we didn’t have shooting,” said Alderwoman Nicole Lee, 11th Ward.

Ald. Lee is hoping to replace people’s fears with assurance.

“There’s every reason to be hopeful. It’s a new year. I think we need to come together,” she said.

Chicago Police said they are monitoring the situation. With no credible threats to upcoming celebrations here, police said they will adjust their resources at events, if necessary.

“We struggled with whether we would continue this event, and worried about safety,” said Katherine Gotsick, co-organizer of Main-Dempster Mile.

Evanston Police were also making their presence felt at a Lunar New Year celebration Sunday, deciding to deploy more resources just hours after that California tragedy.

“It’s impossible to do anything but acknowledge what happened [Saturday], and to realize that we live in a country where it’s always a possibility,” said Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss.

In Rogers Park, families gathered at the Holy Child of Jesus Parish with heavy hearts lingering under the music and Asian culture.

Attendees said the Lunar New Year is a way to keep Asian traditions alive through the next generations.

RELATED: What is Lunar New Year and how is it different from Chinese New Year?

Some people at the event were brought to tears as they reflected on the families in California who entered the new year facing tragedy in the wake of the mass shooting.

“I’m very shocked and feel so sorry,” said Kim Phan. “I feel so sad for the people who passed. It should be a happiness for those families and the people … I can’t imagine how they feel.”

While many events are still set for days to come, people said they will continue to keep those families impacted by the California shooting in their prayers.

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