Monterey Park shooter disarmed in heroic act – NBC New York

A confrontation in the lobby of a second San Gabriel Valley dance hall minutes after the Monterey Park shooting that left 10 dead and 10 injured may have prevented another tragedy.

The gunman who opened fire at the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park entered the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio at the nearby Alhambra about 20 minutes later, just as the family-run business was about to close for the night. Once inside, the gunman was confronted and disarmed by at least one person in an act of heroism, authorities said on Sunday.

The New York Times spoke to Brandon Tsay, who said he wrestled the gun out of the hands of the 72-year-old gunman as the man entered the lobby.

“He looked at me and looked around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm,” Tsay told the New York Times. “His eyes were menacing.”

Tsay told the Times he did not recognize the man.

Tsay and family members left the studio on Monday morning. He told NBCLA he felt fine but was tired after helping police investigate since Sunday morning.

The Tsays opened the ballroom and studio three decades ago. The Times reported that Brandon Tsay is a computer programmer and works in the dance hall a few nights a week.

“He is older than me and my brother,” Sister Brenda Tsay said. “This is a family business. All customers have supported us over the years, so knowing that some of them have left – it hurts.”

The suspect in a mass shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park went to a second dance studio in Alhambra, where at least one patron allegedly disarmed him. Lolita Lopez reporting for NBC4 News on January 22, 2023.

Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park and Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in the Alhambra have many of the same clients.

“We’re going to both places, right? Sometimes we go here, sometimes we go there,” said Lucy Pao, a patron of both studios.

Pao and her husband are among those who visit Lai Lai.

“A lot of retirees come here for a dance lesson at the weekend and have teachers from all over the world. Normally there wasn’t a party here on Saturday night, but Star Dance has a party.”

On Saturday, Lai Lai celebrated its 29th anniversary, according to its Facebook page, which highlights its many events.

A still image of the suspected shooter was taken at the entrance to Lai Lai’s studio and was distributed by authorities during the search.

“I can tell you that the suspect probably went in with intent to kill him, but two community members took action and disarmed him,” LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

Witnesses at the Lai Lai provided a description of a van seen leaving the scene. The gunman, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound inside the van in the parking lot of a Torrance shopping center on Sunday.

The Mayor of Monterey Park said Tran may have attended the dance hall he attacked.

The massacre marked the nation’s fifth mass murder this month — and it struck one of California’s biggest holiday celebrations observed across many Asian cultures, and dealt another blow to a community that has been the target of high-profile violence in recent years.

It was also the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.