Eleven people were killed and nine others were injured in a mass shooting at a crowded dance studio in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday night, authorities said. The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, allegedly opened fire during a Lunar New Year celebration before fleeing the scene. He was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a van in Torrance.
The tragedy left the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community devastated. On behalf of the victims, their families, and the entire AAPI community, the family of 70-year-old Diana Tom, who died after being wounded at Star Dance, condemned the “senseless act of violence”.
The gunman had a limited criminal history, having been arrested in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm. A search of his home revealed a .308 caliber rifle and numerous electronic devices, as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition in containers. He had also been making homemade firearm suppressors.
Janice Hahn, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, called the shooting the worst mass shooting in LA County history. Brandon Tsay, a hero who disarmed the suspect at a second dance hall, spoke exclusively with Robin Roberts about how he had jumped in to help. He said that the suspect “distrusted everyone,” and that he had acted on instinct. The 10 slain victims were all in their 50s, 60s, or 70s. The LA County Coroner’s office released the names of two more victims, Xiujuan Yu, 57, and Valentino Alvero, 68.
The tragedy has left the community in grief, with a reminder of the fragility of life and the importance of coming together in times of crisis. As the family of Diana Tom said in their statement: “We honor and support all of those affected.”