Man died using his back to shelter dance partner from hail of bullets in Monterey Park shooting

A survivor of the Monterey Park shooting has spoken about how her life was saved by her dance partner who shielded her from bullets.

ABC News spoke with a woman who identified herself as “Shally” and recalled that her 62-year-old male friend protected her from the attack, losing his life in the process.

Longtime friends, the two were dancing when the gunman opened fire in the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb on Saturday night when the shooting began.

She said she grabbed her dance partner and they hid under a table.

Her 62-year-old friend, whom she did not want to identify, was shot in the back and saved her, protecting her from the gunshots.

When the gunman left, she told the network that she tried waking him up but soon realised he had been shot.

In another detail, Shally revealed how she thought the terror was over after the first round of gunfire but said the suspect went out and reloaded his weapon. When the gunfire finally stopped, she realized two of her friends were dead and several others had been shot.

She said the images and sounds are forever seared in her memory.

The suspected gunman has since been identified as Huu Can Tran, 72, who used to dance at the studio and had met his ex-wife there approximately 20 years ago.

He went on to try and attack another dance studio in neighbouring Alhambra but was thwarted by a 26-year-old member of the family who ran the premises.

Tran fled and was found dead in his car from a self-inflicted gunshot wound the following day, some 30 miles away in Torrance, California.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said all ten victims, five men and five women, appeared to be in their 50s and 60s or perhaps older.

So far two women have been formally identified — My Nhan, 65, and Lilan Li, 63 — and a man, Ming Wei Ma, the owner of the studio, was named by friends. Another ten were taken to hospital with injuries.