Robert Luna, the Los Angeles County sheriff, said in a Sunday news conference on January 22, 2023, that two people wrestled the gun away from the shooter, identified by Luna as Huu Can Tran. Luna said Tran went to the second location after shooting and killing 11 people and injuring nine others at a Monterey Park dance hall during a Lunar New Year celebration.
According to his Facebook page, Tsay, 26, is from San Marino, California. The Alhambra dance hall, Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, where the second incident occurred is owned by Tsay’s family, according to The New York Times. Tsay works as a coder full-time, but also runs the ticket booth a few days a week at his family’s ballroom, according to The Times. He was there working when the gunman entered.
“My heart sank, I knew I was going to die,” he told The Times. “That moment, it was primal instinct. Something happened there. I don’t know what came over me.” Tsay told the newspaper he disarmed the gunman, pointed the weapon at him and told him, “Go, get the hell out of here.”
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Brandon Tsay Is Seen on Surveillance Video Struggling With the Gunman
ABC News also aired video showing Tsay struggling with Tran. According to ABC, Tsay runs the second dance hall with his family and said Tran was “looking around the room” as if he was “looking for targets — people to harm.”
“He started prepping the weapon and something came over me,” Tsay recalled to ABC. “I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him. I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died.”
“When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle,” he added to the network. “We struggled into the lobby, trying to get this gun away from each other. He was hitting me across the face, bashing the back of my head.”
Tsay also spoke to “Good Morning America.”
Tsay told The New York Times, “He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing.” Tsay’s father, Tom Tsay, told the newspaper, “It was just my son. He could have died. He’s lucky, someone was watching over him.”
Authorities Confirmed the Heroism in a News Conference
In a news conference, the sheriff confirmed the heroism.
At first, Luna said in a news conference that authorities were investigating whether the two incidents were linked. Then he said, in another news conference, that Tran had entered the second establishment with a firearm, and he encountered two bystanders who took it away from him.
Tran then fled the scene, the sheriff said, but witnesses described a white cargo van he was driving, and Torrance police soon encountered it.
Luna said Tran took his own life with a gun inside the van.
According to the sheriff, the motive for the mass shooting is not clear. He said that Tran, 72, went to Alhambra about 20 minutes after the first shooting occurred.
n the later news conference, Luna said that the suspect in Alhambra was also Huu Can Tran. The sheriff said authorities recovered a “magazine-fed semi-automatic assault pistol” at that location that had an “extended large capacity magazine attached to it.”
A law enforcement source revealed to CNN the weapon was “a Cobray M11 9mm semi-automatic.” CNN reported through a source that authorities traced the gun to Tran.
“The suspect walked in there, probably with the intent to kill more people, and two brave community members decided they were going to jump into action and disarm him. They did so, took possession of the weapon, and the suspect ran away,” Luna said of the Alhambra incident.
“I thought he would run away, but he was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run,” Tsay recalled to ABC News. “I really thought I would have to shoot him and he came at me. This is when he turned around and walked out the door, jogged back to his van. I immediately called police with the gun still in my hand.”