Asian-Americans in Sacramento Hold Community Event for Monterey Park Shooting Victims

By Shuxuan Zhong


On January 22, around Lunar New Year, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran entered a Monterey Park dance studio in Los Angeles and fatally shot 11 people, leaving several more victims in critical condition.


Tran walked into the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in nearby Alhambra about 20 minutes after the Monterey Park shooting, police said. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said, “The suspect walked in there, probably with the intent to kill two more people, but two community members disarmed him, took possession of his weapon, and the suspect ran away.” Luna said the pistol used by Tran is illegal in California and state law prohibits any gun with more than ten rounds. About twelve hours after the incident, the SWAT team found the suspect with self-inflicted gunshot wounds and he was pronounced dead at the scene. “We still are not clear on the motive,” Luna said.


There are many senior residents who live in Monterey Park. Demographically, approximately 65 percent of residents are Asian. Chester Chong, chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce in Los Angeles, noted, “People called me, and they were afraid it was a hate crime.” 


Wang Wei, who lives near the scene of the shooting, was invited to the ballroom but decided not to attend. Wei said one of his friends was wounded in the shooting and lay on the ground with blood on his face. Seung Won Choi’s barbecue restaurant across the street from the shooting said three people stormed his restaurant and told him to lock the door.


Evan Low held a memorial for the victims of the Monterey Park shooting at the State Capitol in Sacramento, on Monday, Jan. 23, 2023. Evan Low said, “The Asian Pacific Islander community is not immune from senseless firearm violence and the additional hardship that this takes, and the tone is that culturally for Lunar New Year, on this day, members of the community do not talk about bad things.” Sacramento lawmakers and Asian Americans demanded better gun regulation at the event. 


The nonprofit Stop AAPI Hate states that there have been more than 11,000 hate crimes against Asian Americans since the outbreak began, most of them against women and older citizens (6- years and up). 


Assemblymember Mike Fong said, “Monterey Park is a community that is 65% Asian, it’s the first city in the United States with an Asian American majority. It’s a tight knit community. These were our moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandmas and grandpas. Our community is heartbroken and reeling from this tragic incident.”


Assemblymember Stephanie Nguyen is confident that Chinese New Year celebrations will continue: “You saw that there were many lion dances and dragon dances happening up and along the Little Saigon area,” Nguyen said. “We can’t let this day set the tone for the rest of the year, but we’re crying inside because of what happened.”

About The Author

Related posts

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
Sign up for