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City extends victim services after Monterey Park mass shooting

There is no playbook on what happened in Monterey Park on Jan. 21 — not for the victims, nor for the first responders. 

"I have several paramedics that are not back to work," said Monterey Park Fire Chief Matt Hallock. "I don't know if they are going to come back to work. I get emotional because I care about each and every one of them."

Hallock added that of the department's 51-person staff several are struggling to process the horrid act of violence that took 11 lives at the Star Dance Studio. City staff assured that through memorial and support services the community will heal, and, eventually recover. 

"This tragedy showed probably the worst in our collective humanity when a crazed gunman, who committed a heinous violent act, for reasons we may never know, " said Councilman Henry Lo. "But we also saw the best in our collective humanity."

The memorial for the 11 people killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting continues to grow over a week after the horrific act of violence. KCAL News

Tuesday afternoon, city staff announced that it will extend victim services at the Langly Senior Center and offer free walk-up counseling services at the Bruggemeyer Library.

"We are partnering with the Chinatown Service Center to provide mental health and counseling services at our library right across the street," said Monterey Park Mayor Pro-Tempore Thomas Wong. "Open during regular business hours as well for at least the next week."

Understanding that many of the Asian and Pacific Islander community may be reluctant to seek mental health services on their own, the city has partnered with local nonprofits and schools to help connect them to people who may need the services and will offer rides or private counseling sessions online or at home. 

"We will not let this tragedy be what defines us," said Lo. "It may punctuate our current history, but I assure you some more to come. The best is to come in that and that will be resilient."

The city will also adopt a local emergency on Tuesday evening and allow the city manager to work with the California Community Foundation to set up an official donation fund. They believe this will be the first step to some sense of normalcy. 

"We are strong," said Monterey Park City Manager Ron Bow. "We stand strong. We are Monterey Park strong."

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