On the night of January 21, 2023, Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old from California, emerged as a hero by bravely disarming a gunman during the Monterey Park shooting. Tsay, who helps manage the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra alongside his family, was overseeing a Lunar New Year Celebration when chaos erupted.

Tsay found himself face to face with the armed assailant at the entrance of the dance hall. Seeing the gunman prepare to shoot, a surge of determination surged through him, propelling him towards the gunman in an attempt to wrestle the weapon from his grasp. The struggle was intense, with Tsay enduring several blows to his face and head, yet he persisted until he successfully secured the gun and commanded the assailant to retreat.

Just 20 minutes earlier, the same gunman had pulled up outside another dance studio in Monterey Park, the Star Dance Studio, and opened fire, killing 10 people and wounding 10 more.

Had it not been for Tsay’s swift and courageous intervention, the outcome of that tragic night could have been far more devastating. His selfless act undoubtedly saved numerous lives and prevented further bloodshed.

“A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had to confront a situation like this. But you know what courage is? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen such as this.” Tsay said in an interview.

In the aftermath of the harrowing ordeal, Tsay expressed empathy and concern for his community, acknowledging the shared trauma experienced by many. He highlighted the vulnerability and fear gripping individuals after such a traumatic event, emphasizing the importance of supporting those who have been affected.

“They’re vulnerable. They’re scared, they’re fragile,” Tsay empathized. “I want to have efforts in supporting people that go through a traumatic experience. I just want people to know that they have people looking out for them.”

Image source: Wikimedia Commons