California: Two Mass Shootings in Three Days Involving Asian Community! (27.1.2023) 

Cover News Reporter: Wang Meng (王萌) – Xinhua 

(Translation by Adrian Chan-Wyles PhD) 

More details of the California shootings have been revealed! A 26-year-old Chinese youth heroically grabbed the gun from the murderer – an action which undoubtedly prevented more innocent people from being shot! On the evening of January 21st, 2023, local time, a mass shooting occurred at a dance hall called “Star Ballroom” in Monterey Park, Los Angeles County, California, USA. An Asian male opened fire, killing 11 people and injuring another 9 (the casualty figures known so far). According to the Los Angeles County Police, the suspect was 72-year-old Asian man named in English transliteration as ‘Huu Can Tran’ (A Vietnamese ‘National’ and ‘Naturalised’ American whose name can be written in the Chinese language as ‘陈胡康’ – or ‘Chen Hu Kang’), who shot himself after a Police chase and three-hour stand-off with the ‘armed’ US Authorities! 

The motives behind Huu Can Tran’s murderous actions still remain unknown – but more background details about the case are starting to emerge. According to local media reports, 26-year-old Chinese youth Brandon Tsay (布兰登·蔡), was hailed as a hero for heroically grabbing the gun in this mass shooting to prevent more people from being shot. Brandon Tsay was interviewed by the media. According to available data – Monterey Park is one of the largest Asian-Pacific settlements in the United States. The shooting happened on Lunar New Year’s Eve – with Lunar New Year celebrations being held nearby. The crime took place in a well-known dance hall popular with the local Chinese population named the ‘Star Ballroom’. The media has reported that Huu Can Tran – a 72-year-old Asian man – deliberately opened-fire in this dance hall on the evening of January 21st, 2023, local time. So far, 11 people have been killed and 9 others have been injured. Local media reported that the 72-year-old suspect then shot himself after being chased by the Police – and died in a white van he was driving. 

The Star Ballroom is a very old-fashioned Chinese dance hall located in the downtown Monterey Park area. After 10 pm on the night of the incident – Huu Can Tran entered the Star Ballroom and opened-fire with a semi-automatic pistol – causing screams to come from the Star Ballroom. Seung Won Choi – the owner of the restaurant next door to the “Star Ballroom”, told the Los Angeles Times that three people rushed into his restaurant and shouted for him to quickly lock the door! He was told that a man with a semi-automatic pistol had opened fire on the people in the adjacent dance hall! 

Local media reported that shortly after the shooting, Police and ambulances rushed to the scene. Ten people were declared dead – and another 10 wounded – all being taken to a nearby hospital. It is believed that the first victim to be killed by Huu Can Tran was ‘Ming Wei Ma’ (马明伟 – Ma Mingwei) – according to ‘Lauren Woods’ – a friend of the deceased and local Dance Teacher. The details known so far suggest that of the ten killed on the scene – five were men and five were women with all being over fifty years old. It is said that Huu Can Tran met his ex-wife at the “Star Ballroom” – but they divorced as long ago as 2005. Another rumour suggests that his ex-wife had been invited to the New Year celebrations – and he had not – and that “jealousy” was the sole motivation behind the attack! 

Interestingly, Huu Can Tran’s wife was present in the “Star Ballroom” as the shooting began – but she managed to escape unharmed. If she was the intended target – then the attack by Huu Can Tran failed. This survivor has chosen to withhold her name but has confirmed she is Huu Can Tran’s ex-wife. This woman has told the media that her ex-husband has a bad temper and is a “perfectionist” – demanding that everything is “just so”. This controlling attitude extended even to dance-steps – and he would shout loudly if his ex-wife got a step wrong when they were both in the “Star Ballroom”! His ex-wife also revealed that Huu Can Tran was a truck-driver. 

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference on January 23rd (2023) that the suspect used a high-capacity (30 round) magazine sub-machine pistol and fired a total of 42 rounds. Investigators have yet to determine a motive for the murders – but will consider any history of criminal behaviour or mental illness. The attack itself appears completely random and seems to have no discernible motive behind it. Until more details become available, these horrible and disturbing events will remain unexplained – according to law enforcement opinion. According to reports, the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office are jointly assisting the investigation. 

If it was not for the heroism of a young 26-year-old Chinese man – another “ballroom” massacre would have taken place! Huu Can Tran then drove to the nearby “Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio” (situated in Alhambra, California) with the intention of continuing his killing spree! Brendon Tsay – who was managing the ballroom for his parents – explained that he heard doors opening and shutting and metallic sounds that he could not explain. This caused him to investigate – where he came face-to-face with the mass killer Huu Can Tran – who “smiled” as he raised his gun! During media interviews given on January 23rd, Brandon Tsay stated that Huu Can Tran appeared to be looking for a specific target – and seemed to stare right through him!  

“My first thought was, I’m going to die here. That’s it,” he said. “I knew I had to try and disarm this man – or everyone would die” he explained! “I worked up my courage and I threw myself at him with both hands – grabbing the weapon as we fought!” Tsay said. “He was trying to get into the hall whilst I was trying to stop him moving and take control of the gun!” “Finally, I managed to snatch the gun from him – pushed him aside and put some distance between us,” Brandon Tsay said, before pointing the gun at the man and telling him, “Get out. Or I’ll Will shoot you.” “He smiled at me again and just stood there – completely unafraid!” “Eventually, he slowly turned around and left!” “I immediately contacted the Police – still with the gun in my hand at the time!”  

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna confirmed at a press conference: “The gunman was disarmed by those present at the second dance hall.” Tom Tsay (蔡汤姆 – Cai Tangmu) – is the father of Brandon Tsay. He has stated to the media that he is very proud of his son – and the brave actions he performed disarming Huu Can Tran! “He had no weapons of any sort – all he had was his bravery and bare-hands – and he saved the lives of countless people!” said Tom Tsay. Brandon Tsay’s actions directly contributed to the Authorities finding the suspect. Local Police said the suspect was found in Torrance on Sunday local time. When the Police eventually approached his vehicle – Huu Can Tran shot himself dead 

Huu Can Tran’s killing spree was just one of two mass shootings that occurred in California within three-days that involved the Asian community of the US! (In the US the term ‘Asian’ refers to Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Vietnamese and Filipino, etc, whereas in the UK the term ‘Asian’ refers to what Americans call ‘East Indians’). On the afternoon of January 23rd (2023), a shooting occurred in the Half Moon Bay area of San Francisco Bay, California, USA. This incident killed at least seven people and seriously injuring one.  

According to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, at around 2:22 p.m. that day – four victims were found dead in the 12700 block of Cabrillo Highway – with another victim taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries. Later, three more victims were found dead at another location in the area. The report revealed that the suspect in the shooting was one – Zhao Chun Li – a 67-year-old Half Moon Bay resident. He was arrested at around 16:40 on the same day after the police found weapons in his car. Half Moon Bay District Councilman Debbie Rudock said – according to NBC – the victims of the mass shooting were Asian labourers working on the nearby farm. At present, there is no known motive for these killings, but this is the second mass killing in three days in California involving Asian perpetuators and Asian victims! 

The two shocking mass shootings in California were both related to the Asian community – with these killings the tranquillity of the Chinese community. Lynn Wang – a British Chinese person who works far away in the City of London – said in an interview with a news reporter that she had noticed the ballroom shooting in Monterey Park, California – even in the UK. She said that Monterey Park, East of Los Angeles, has a population of about 60,000, two-thirds of which are Asian, and most of those Asians are Chinese. This can be said to be one of the earliest places the Chinese settled in Los Angeles. A large number of Chinese moved into tehe area and developed its economy – with Lynn Wang visiting because of work. Here, there is no obstacle to communicating in the Chinese language. She said that the New Year ballroom shooting broke the tranquillity of the Chinese community. Chinese associations around the world are usually very law-abiding. The shooter in this case was of Vietnamese origin. Lynn Wang could not figure out why an Asian person of such an advanced age would create such a heinous crime on Chinese New Year’s Eve! “It was so shocking!” she said. 

According to US media reports, this is one of the worst shooting incidents in the Los Angeles area in the past ten years, and it is also the mass shooting incident with the largest number of deaths in the United States this year. The last time there was such a deadly shooting in California was in 1984, when a gunman killed 21 people at a McDonald’s restaurant in San Ysidro, San Diego. William Cote, who lives in Los Angeles and is engaged in car sales, told a reporter that many of his customers are Asians from Monterey Park. According to his impression, these Asians are friendly and have created good economic conditions. Law and order has always been very good, and there have been few large-scale shootings. He does not know whether the gunman deliberately planned this or was suddenly stimulated by something. “This shooting is so shocking!” he said. 

United Nations Secretary-General Guterres issued a statement through his spokesperson on the 23rd, expressing shock and sadness at the shooting incident in Monterey Park, California, USA on the 21st. 

According to incomplete statistics, as of January 23 local time, there have been 39 shooting incidents in the United States in 2023, an average of 1.6 per day. Gun control in American society is difficult, and frequent shooting incidents have become a chronic problem. 

Chinese Language Article: 


当地时间1月21日晚,美国加州洛杉矶县蒙特雷帕克市的一家名为“舞星”的舞厅内发生大规模枪击案。一名亚裔男性开枪行凶,截至目前已造成11人遇难,另有9人受伤。据洛杉矶县警方披露,犯罪嫌疑人为72岁的亚裔男子陈胡康(Huu Can Tran,音译),在被追捕的过程中开枪自尽。目前其作案动机仍然不明。 

关于该案,更多细节正在逐渐浮出水面。据当地媒体报道,26岁的华裔青年布兰登·蔡(Brandon Tsay,音译)因在这起大规模枪击案中英勇夺枪阻止更多人被扫射,而被誉为英雄。 







“舞星”是一家非常老式的华人舞厅,位于蒙特雷帕克市中心。案发当晚10点后,陈胡康来到了“舞星”,用半自动手枪对舞厅内进行了扫射,舞厅里传出阵阵尖叫声。“舞星”隔壁餐厅老板Seung Won Choi接受《洛杉矶时报》采访时表示,当时有三个人冲进他的店里,让他锁上门。他被告知,有一个拿着半自动手枪的人扫射了旁边的舞厅。 


当地媒体报道称,枪击案发生不久之后,警察与救护车紧急赶往现场,有10人当场被宣布死亡,另有10位伤员被就近送往医院。马明伟(Ming Wei Ma,音译,具体年龄未公布)是当晚的第一位受害者。“对我来说他太可爱了,我知道他是这家舞厅的核心”,马明伟的朋友舞蹈老师劳伦·伍兹说。 





洛杉矶县警长罗伯特·卢纳(Robert Luna)在23日的新闻发布会上称,嫌疑人使用大容量弹匣手枪,共射出42发子弹。目前,调查人员尚未确定枪手的作案动机,但将考虑任何犯罪或精神疾病历史。 





当地媒体报道称,陈胡康在疯狂扫射10多分钟后,又去了不远处另一家名为“Lai Lai Ballroom&Studio”(“来来”,音译)的舞厅,但这里却没有伤亡报告。 












“那是我的儿子。他本来会死的。”布兰登·蔡的父亲Tom Tsay(汤姆·蔡,音译)补充说,他为儿子的勇气感到自豪。 

Tom Tsay的行为直接促进当局找到嫌疑人。当地警方称,嫌疑人当地时间周日在托伦斯市被警方发现,当警察接近他的车辆时,他开枪自杀身亡。 






报道还称,圣马特奥县警长办公室透露,此次枪击案嫌疑人是67岁的半月湾居民Zhao Chun Li,他于当天16时40分左右被捕,此前,警方在其车里发现武器。 


加州两起令人震惊的大规模枪案都与亚裔社区有关,枪声也打破了华人社区的宁静。远在伦敦金融城工作的英籍华人Lynn Wang接受封面新闻记者采访时表示,自己在英国都注意到了发生在加州蒙特雷帕克市的舞厅枪案。她说,洛杉矶以东的蒙特雷帕克市人口大约有6万左右,其中三分之二都是亚裔,亚裔中多为华裔,这里可谓是华人在洛杉矶最早的落脚之地,近10年来则有大量华人迁入,自己因为工作关系也曾去过这个城市。在这里,用中文交流是没有任何障碍的。她说,新年舞厅枪击案打破了华人社区的宁静。华人社团在世界各地通常都是非常遵纪守法的,本次枪案的枪手据说是越南裔,她想不通一个如此大年龄的亚裔人士是为了什么,会在农历新年除夕夜制造这样一桩枪击案?“实在是太令人震惊了!”她说。 

据美国媒体报道,这是洛杉矶地区近十几年来发生的最严重枪击事件之一,也是今年以来美国发生的死亡人数最多的大规模枪击事件。上一次加州发生如此致命的枪击事件,得追溯到1984年,当时一名枪手在圣地亚哥市圣伊西德罗的一家麦当劳餐厅枪杀了21人。居住在洛杉矶从事汽车销售的William Cote告诉封面新闻记者,自己的客户中有不少是来自蒙特雷帕克市的亚裔人士,印象中这些亚裔人士都比较友善,经济条件也很好,而且这里的治安一向很好,鲜有发生大型枪击案。实在不明白枪手是蓄意制造出这起案件还是突然受了什么刺激。“这起枪案太让人震惊了!”他说。 




封面新闻记者 王萌 综合新华社、央视、美国侨报等