Filipino American Valentino Alvero was among those killed during Saturday’s mass shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California.
Alvero, 68, was a U.S. citizen of Filipino descent who worked as a hospitality worker.
In a statement released by his niece Karmel Kwan on Tuesday, Alvero was remembered as “a loving father” who loved to dance.
His family expressed their condolences to the other victims and noted that “Valentino is more than just a headline or a news story.”
He was a loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three granddaughters fiercely, an uncle who loved his nieces and nephews like his own. He loved people and hearing about their lives and in return, he shared his own stories with so much gusto and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh along with him. He loved ballroom dancing, he loved his community, and was the life of any party.
We wish [we] could let him know that we will all miss him for the rest of our days on this earth. We hope that he danced to his heart’s content until the very end and hope that he is now dancing in heaven.
The Alvero family said that he was a devout Catholic who was not able to receive his last rites. They requested all priests and Catholics to pray for him by his full name: Valentino Marcos Alvero.
Our family’s official statement on the Monterey Park shooting: pic.twitter.com/Y55MAWjcWT
— KARMEL (@karmelkwan) January 24, 2023
The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles confirmed Alvero to be among the 11 fatalities in the massacre in a statement on Monday.
The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles expresses its shock and great sadness over the mass shooting incident that took place in Monterey Park, CA late in the night of 21 January 2023. Our prayers go out to the families of the victims and we mourn with them during this lunar new year festival, which is supposed to be a time of gathering and celebration.
After closely monitoring the incident and sustained coordination with law enforcement, Filipino-American organizations and media, the Consulate General received tragic news that one kababayan, Mr. Valentino Alvero, 68 years of age, a U.S. citizen of Filipino descent, was among the casualties of the shooting.
The consulate has vowed to assist Alvero’s bereaved family should they reach out for any help. The Consulate General also reminded the community to continue being vigilant.
“Always monitor your loved one’s and family members’ whereabouts,” the statement read. “Report any suspicious activities immediately to local law enforcement and watch out for each other. Let’s stay safe.”
On Monday night, Monterey Park residents gathered to honor those who died in a community vigil.
Including Alvero, authorities have identified all 11 victims: Mymy Nhan, 65; Diana Tom, 70; Hong Jian, 62; Yu Kao, 72; Lilan Li, 63; Ming Ma, 72; Muoi Ung, 67; Chia Yau, 76; Wen Yu, 64; and Xiujuan Yu, 57.
“We never thought that it would be one of us,” vigil organizer Ann Lau told reporters. “It’s so shocking. We can’t accept it. We have to do something just to get our emotions out, just to comfort each other, just to tell each other that we can go forward.”
Huu Can Tran, 72, was identified as the suspect in the deadly shooting during the celebration of the Lunar New Year.
After the shooting rampage at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, Tran went to the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, where he was disarmed by 26-year-old Brandon Tsay.
After a daylong manhunt with police on Sunday, Tran was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside a white cargo van at a Torrance strip mall parking lot.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California, along with 14 partners, has organized a GoFundMe page for the benefit of the victims. As of this writing, the campaign has raised nearly $350,000.