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Monterey Park community gathers for vigil one-year after deadly mass shooting

Monterey Park community holds vigil to remember victims of deadly mass shooting
Monterey Park community holds vigil to remember victims of deadly mass shooting 03:46

The Monterey Park community gathered to remember the victims of a deadly mass shooting one year after the tragic incident took place. 

Eleven people were killed and nine others seriously wounded when a gunman opened fire in the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on Jan. 21, 2023. The shooter then moved to Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, where he was stopped by Brandon Tsay, who disarmed him and saved the lives of countless others. 

The gunman, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, died by suicide the next day after he was pulled over by police in Torrance. 

Now, one year later, community members were gathered at the Monterey Park City Hall for a candlelight vigil to remember the victims, and continue their advocacy for stricter gun laws to make sure that no other community has to deal with what they have. 

"Gun violence needs to end," said Monterey Park Mayor Jose Sanchez. "It needs to end here."

"All of us here, we hold the power to end gun violence," City Councilman Henry Lo echoed.

Tsay also spoke to the crowd at what he called a "united pursuit of hope."

"Together we are not just victims, we are a community of heroes that thrives from a brighter and safer future without gun violence," Tsay said. 

Related: Monterey Park holds fundraiser to honor those killed in last year's mass shooting

The remembrance served as a space for residents and survivors to reflect and heal together with the larger community. 

"A year later, we have proven to everyone that we are so much more," said Monterey Park City Clerk Maychelle Yee. "We are brave. We are strong. We are resilient."

Lanterns, wreaths, bouquets and messages were left outside of the venue for the victims overnight. 

The shooting was the deadliest ever in Los Angeles County. It happened on the eve of the Lunar New Year, in a community where the majority of residents are Asian American.

In the days following the shooting, President Joe Biden visited Monterey Park, where he consoled families of the victims and announced executive actions aimed at reducing gun violence. On Sunday, he honored the victims in a message posted on X. 

"We need Congress to do its part. It's long past time we banned assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, ended immunity from liability for gun manufacturers, passed a national red flag law, enacted universal background checks, and required safe storage of guns," Biden's message said. 

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