We are devastated to learn about another mass shooting, this time in Half Moon Bay, California and less than 48 hours from the shooting in Monterey Park. Our hearts go out to the lives lost and those suffering from yet another tragedy. Today's newsletter will cover both events and new developments regarding Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. Just as with yesterday’s newsletter, we will keep a list of resources for those who are hurting, grieving, fearful and anxious. We will also spotlight the Oscar nominations, including some historic firsts for the AAPI community.
Vigils and victims of Monterey Park shooting: The death toll for the Monterey Park shooting has risen to 11 as a woman in her 70s succumbed to her injuries from Saturday’s events. The deceased reportedly include women and men who were in their 50s, 60s and 70s. Authorities with help from the victim’s friends and family have now identified all of them: Valentino Alvero, 68; My Nhan, 65; Lilan Li, 63; Xiujuan Yu, 57; Diana Tom, 70; Chia Yau, 77; Yu Kao, 72; Hong Jian, 62; Muoi Ung, 68. Meanwhile, family and friends identified two others as Nancy Liu, 63, and Ming Wei Ma, 72. More details are expected to be available soon. Vigils have been held across the country with more pending. On Monday, California AAPI legislators held a vigil at the State Capitol Building in Sacramento. A vigil and march was held in New York’s Union Square on Monday. The City of Monterey Park will hold a vigil Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m PT on at Monterey Park City Hall, 320 W. Newmark Ave. Another vigil will be held at Star Dance Studio (122 W Garvey Ave #B) in Monterey Park on Wednesday, Jan. 25 at 6:00 p.m. PT.
Here are more details about some of the victims:
Valentino Alvero: Described by his family as “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” and “the life of the party.” The hospitality worker wanted to retire next year and take a trip back to his native Philippines.
Mymy Nhan: Was a regular at the dance halls and chose to celebrate the Lunar New Year which came only three weeks after her mother passed. Nhan, who was her mother’s caretaker, wanted to kick off the new year with dance and fun. Nhan immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s. A statement from the family posted to Twitter says, “If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.”
Nancy Liu: Nancy and her husband Jeff immigrated from China to Southern California nearly two decades ago. They did everything together, including celebrating the Lunar New Year through their shared love of dancing. Jeff, 62, recovered from gunshot wounds and was discharged from the hospital on Sunday. Nancy died at the dance studio during the shooting, which was the last time Jeff saw her as they were sent to different hospitals.
Ming Wei Ma: A beloved dance instructor and, according to eyewitnesses, the first to rush at the suspected gunman. He was the owner of the Star Dance Studio and described by a friend as, “An extremely respected, very beloved, very caring teacher, instructor, extremely kind human being, and he's very much missed by everyone in the Star Dance community.”
Half Moon Bay Shooting: On Monday, seven people were killed and one critically wounded in a mass shooting at two two locations in Half Moon Bay, California. The first shooting took place at a mushroom farm and the other near a trucking facility just two miles away from the farm. In a news briefing on Monday, Half Moon Bay Mayor Deborah Penrose, said, “Only thing we do know is that some of the victims were Chinese, that the perpetrator was Chinese, and that this was an agricultural community. They were agricultural workers.” The suspect, identified as Chunli Zhao, 67, was arrested in his car at the San Mateo County sheriff’s substation two hours after the shooting. Zhao, a Half Moon Bay resident, was taken into custody without incident and the semi-automatic handgun believed to be used was found in his car. Zhao is believed to have worked for the farm and was described as a “disgruntled worker.” As of now, he is believed to have acted alone.
Oscar’s historic nominations: “Everything Everywhere All at Once” leads the 95th Academy Awards with 11 nominations in total. Following the announcement of nominees on Tuesday, the film’s main cast has notably received major recognition, with international superstar Michelle Yeoh making history as the first Asian-identifying actor to be nominated for a Best Actress Award at the Oscars. Indian actress Merle Oberon was the first Asian American actress to receive the Best Actress nomination in 1935, but was forced to hide her identity and present as White due to racism at the time. Ke Huy Quan has received a Best Supporting Actor nomination. Stephanie Hsu and Jamie Lee Curtis will compete together in the Best Supporting Actress category in their first Oscar nominations. Hong Chau of “The Whale” is also nominated for the category. Meanwhile, filmmakers Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan, known collectively as “the Daniels,” are nominated for Best Director. “Everything Everywhere” is also nominated for Best Original Song, Screenplay, Score, Costume Design, and Editing. Some other notable nominees include “Triangle of Sadness” starring Filipino icon Dolly De Leon for Best Picture, Best Director for Ruben Östlund and Best Original Screenplay. In the Animated Feature Films, Domee Shi’s “Turning Red” was nominated as well as “Puss in Boots: The Last Wish,” co-directed by Filipino American Januel Mercado.
Michelle Yeoh in "Everything Everywhere All at Once" A24
GoFundMe: Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL), in partnership with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF), Stop AAPI Hate, Gold House, Stand with Asian Americans and Chinatown Service Center, has organized a GoFundMe page for the benefit of the victims. As of this writing, the campaign has raised over $359,000.
Memorial and resource center: A memorial honoring the lives lost and survivors has been established at Monterey Park City Hall located on 320 W. Newmark Avenue. A resource center is open at the Langley Senior Citizen Center in Monterey Park.