U.S. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris marked the first anniversary of the Monterey Park mass shooting on Jan. 21 by urging Congress to enact stricter gun regulations.
About the shooting: Huu Can Tran, 72, opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California on the night of Jan. 21, 2023, killing 11 people and injuring nine others. Shortly after, he headed to Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in nearby Alhambra, where he was disarmed by manager Brandon Tsay. He was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours later.
The attack is regarded as the deadliest mass shooting in Los Angeles County history. Harris, who visited the scene and met with victims’ families last year, took to social media on Sunday to mark the incident’s anniversary.
“One year ago today, 11 people were killed in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California,” the vice president wrote. “We mourn with the families who lost loved ones, and we remain committed to calling on Congress to pass commonsense gun safety laws.”
Biden also released a statement
expressing his commitment to gun safety and urging Congress to take action.
“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,” he said.
Community vigil: Hundreds attended a candlelight vigil at Monterey Park’s City Hall on Sunday night to reflect, pray and demand stricter gun laws. The event aimed to provide a space for healing as community members honored the victims. Speakers, including those who lost their loved ones, emphasized the need for stricter regulations and expressed solidarity in their call for a safer future.
“Together, we are not just victims, we are a community of heroes that thrives from a brighter and safer future without gun violence,” community hero Tsay said at the event. “I think we honor the memory of those we have lost by embracing the promise of work towards a safer community.”
A hero’s mission: Tsay, who faced mental health issues following the incident, still manages his family’s ballroom but allots time to helping himself and his community heal through activities providing mental health resources.
“I now know that, from the community healing and people reaching out to me, it seems that there’s a lot of positivity out there and I shouldn’t let this one incident go to my head and say everybody is bad,” he told ABC7
. “I should take it with a grain of salt and believe that humans, there’s innate good to them.”