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Anti-violence rally held for AAPI community

Anti-violence rally held for AAPI community
Anti-violence rally held for AAPI community 02:53

SAN FRANCISCO -- On the second anniversary of a mass shooting in Atlanta where eight people were killed, including six Asian women, a rally was held in five cities across the nation to pay tribute to the lives lost.

Brandon Tsay
Brandon Tsay, who stopped the Monterey Park gunman, spoke at an AAPI anti-violence rally in San Francisco. KPIX

At the San Francisco rally in Japantown, Brandon Tsay, who stopped the Monterey Park gunman, spoke. For many, he is a symbol of strength and resilience in the Asian community.

"I don't know how to deal with all of it because all these situations, they're very new to me," Tsay said. "I don't have any background in media so quite a difficult time."

Brandon Tsay still isn't comfortable with the attention and praise he's received since his act of heroism. 

During a Lunar New Year celebration at his family's Southern California ballroom. Tsay took quick action and wrestled a gun away from 72-year-old Huu Can Tran as Tran attempted to extend a shooting spree that had already claimed 11 lives at a dance hall in Monterey Park.

The incident has changed Tsay's life.

"I think I'm a pillar of support for people that look up to me. I'm proud to be a support icon for them," Tsay said.

The rally in San Francisco paid tribute to the lives lost in the Atlanta spa shootings as well as those killed in Monterey Park and the victims of the Half Moon Bay massacre where seven victims died.

"I believe in human dignity and I believe it's been taken away from the Asian American community," said Wendy Nguyen, co-founder of Stand With Asians who helped organize the event. As a Bay Area native, she's angered by the cases of Asian hate yet she's inspired by people like Brandon Tsay.

"I just love the fact that he's an Asian American man who did a physical act of heroism ... We can hold him up as a beacon of light and we have a new hero," she said. 

Brandon Tsay deflects when he's called a hero. He feels his action was something he had to do to save lives.

"We are all here for each other," he said.  "We are humans."

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