The man hailed as a hero for disarming the Monterey Park mass shooting suspect was awarded a medal of courage and invited to attend President Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address.
Brandon Tsay, 26, wrestled a gun away from 72-year-old Huu Can Tran at Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, California, minutes after the latter allegedly killed 10 people at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in neighboring Monterey Park on the eve of Lunar New Year.
Surveillance footage shows Tsay struggling with Tran before he ultimately manages to disarm the alleged mass shooter.
Had he failed to do so, there could have been more deaths that night.
Tsay recalled the struggle in an interview with “Good Morning America”:
I was able to pull the gun away from him, shove him aside, create some distance, point the gun at him, intimidate him and say, “Get the hell out of here. I’ll shoot. Get away! Go!” At this point, I thought he would run away, but he was just standing here contemplating whether to fight or run away.
Tran was found dead hours after the incident with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Days later, an 11th victim succumbed to their injuries.
Tsay said he was traumatized by the encounter.
I was shaking all night. I couldn’t believe what happened. A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had to confront a situation like this. But you know what courage is? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen such as this.
Tsay was awarded a medal of courage by the City of Alhambra on Sunday, coinciding with Lunar New Year celebrations.
“The carnage would have been so much worse had it not been for Brandon Tsay,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D, CA-28), who attended the awarding ceremony.
Chu invited Tsay to attend Biden’s State of the Union as her guest, but the president himself invited the Alhambra hero an hour later.
Biden also called Tsay last week to thank him for his “incredible action in the face of danger.”
You have my respect. You are America, pal. You are who we are – no, no, you are who we are. America’s never backed down. We’ve always stepped up, because of people like you.