Messages from the AAPI community leaders regarding Monterey Park mass shooting

This weekend, we gathered to celebrate one of the most important Asian cultural holidays Lunar New Year. But the Asian American and Pacific Islander community was rocked by the news of a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old gunman, opened fire at a Lunar New Year party at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. He killed 11 people over the age of 50 and wounded nine others.

The police officers were on the scene within minutes, and the gunman fled to the nearby Alhambra. He went to another dance studio where a civilian tackled and disarmed him. The police found him a day later in a white van in Torrance, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The motivation for the attack is still unknown.

The victims include Lilan Li (63), My Nhan (65), Xiujuan Yu (57), and Valentino Alvero (68). The other victims include two women in their 60s, a woman in her 70s, a man in his 60s, and three men in their 70s.

Ding Ding TV spoke to the Asian American and Pacific Islander community leaders. They expressed their condolences to the victims’ families, anger about the attack, and discussed what we as a community could do to prevent this type of incident from happening in the future.

Ding Ding TV’s report includes statements from Joel Wong (Chairman of National Asian Americans United), Maeley Tom (Founding President, Joint California Legislative Caucus Institute), Ken Fong (Founder and Chairman of Kenson Ventures), Dennis Wu (Chairman of SF Cause), Wilson Chu (Board member of SF Cause), Carmen Montano (Mayor of Milpitas), Anthony Ng (Community leader), and Carl Chan (President of Oakland China Town Chamber Foundation).

Maeley Tom (Founding President, Joint California Legislative Caucus Institute) said: “I do agree that these past years of living under the threat of anti Asian violence has taken its toll on the mental health of the Asian community, especially the elders, though not condoning this as a reason for the two tragic incidences.  But our community is really on edge, angry and frustrated.”

Ken Fong (Founder and Chairman of Kenson Ventures) stated: “It reminded us of the serious emotional trauma of the APIs that we are facing now. Not that we are condoning this kind of desperate action, you and I have to pay close attention to it and let our elected representatives know about the seriousness. It is most likely other ethnic groups have similar problems, but these two side by side API mass killings have brought this long simmering mental instability to the surface.”

We want to thank all the community leaders who spoke to us.

Likewise, thank you to all other ethnic community leaders who got in touch to offer their condolences and support, and media for reporting on this event.

As we were finishing this report on Monday, the news broke of another mass shooting, this time in Half Moon Bay. Seven people were killed. The authorities apprehended the suspect Chunli Zhao (67). Christina Corpus (San Mateo County Sheriff) stated the authorities believe the gunman acted alone, and the motive for the shooting is still unknown.

The following information was provided by Becky L. Monroe (Deputy Director for Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, California Civil Rights Department)

Monterey Park

Please see this important resource guide compiled by the AAPI Equity Alliance in conjunction Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California as well as many local organizations and service providers with information from the Civil Rights Department and other state agencies as well. I will share the resource guide in other languages as soon as possible:

Resources for Monterey Park Victims and Community Members.pdf – Google Drive

We also want to make sure that people have information about how to access in language mental health services as soon as possible, so we are highlighting the following resources:

Victim and Survivor Resource Center

Operated by LA County, City of Monterey Park, American Red Cross, and others to provide on-the-ground mental health services, crisis response teams, and victim services. Mandarin and Cantonese interpretations available. Open daily 8am-7pm at the Langley Senior Citizen Center, 400 W Emerson Ave, Monterey Park, CA. (626) 307-1388

Chinatown Service Center

The nonprofit, which provides services for immigrants and other communities in LA County, offers trauma counseling to community members. (213) 808-1700; https://www.cscla.org/

Asian Pacific Counseling and Treatment Centers

Mental health center in LA County meeting the needs of Asian Pacific immigrants and refugees. Services available in Mandarin, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Korean, Tagalog, Thai, and Spanish. Behavioral health and outpatient clinical services provided at Alhambra location: 1635 West Main St., Suite 100, Alhambra, CA 91801.

(626) 248-1800, M-F 8:30am-5:00pm; https://www.apctc.org/


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