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  • Writer's pictureNazanine Laupua

A Tragic Start to the New Year

Updated: Feb 16, 2023

This day that was supposed to be filled with celebration and excitement suddenly turned into one filled with tragedy.

On a beautiful Saturday night, the night before Lunar New Year, a mass-shooting broke out in a dance studio located in Monterey Park. This shocking tragedy left multiple people heartbroken. The Monterey Park mass-shooting was a devastating situation that killed 11 people and injured at least 10 others, all of those victims being senior citizens, alongside the shooter.

The suspected gunman, responsible for all this agony, was said to be 72 year old, Huu Can Tran. The age of the shooter astonished many people, as he was a senior citizen himself because statistics show that the average age of a mass shooter is usually around the 20s or 30s. It is said that Tran was once a dancer at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the studio he decided to target, where he also taught lessons in the early 2000s. After going on the hunt for him, authorities announced the day after that he was found. So Tran’s motive still remains unclear.

The 11 victims that lost their lives due to the mass-shooting were later identified by The LA County Coroner Medical Examiner’s Office. Their names, along with their ages, were: Xiujuan Yu, 57, Hong Jian, 62, Lilian Li, 63, Wen Yu, 64, Mymy Nhan, 65, Muoi Ung, 67, Valentino Alvero, 68, Diana Tom, 70, Ming Wei Ma, 72, Yu Kao, 72 and Chia Yau, 76. The victims had all been attending the Star Ballroom Dance Studio for years now and they found great joy in dancing. This is why it’s so heartbreaking to know that on Saturday, January 21, they danced their last dance. The families of the victims have shared their feelings and heartfelt memories they shared with them, which can be found in the article “Here's what we know about the Monterey Park shooting victims” released by NPR.

My sincere condolences go out to the families of these beautiful souls. May they be at peace knowing that their loved ones took their last breaths in the place they loved.

Courtesy of Getty Images

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