Elk Grove’s Asian community finds solidarity at Lunar New Year events after Monterey Park shooting

Lunar New Year events across California continued as scheduled Sunday, despite the deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. Authorities said 10 people were shot and killed and at least 10 others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park Saturday night amid the Lunar New Year festivities. 20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby Alhambra. Detectives believe the two incidents are related. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the suspect as 72-year-old Huu Canh Tran and said he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van. The shooting sparked fear in many Asian communities in the state and across the country. While some Lunar New Year events, including Sunday’s remaining festivities in Monterey Park, were canceled, others went ahead as planned. That included a celebration near Laguna Boulevard and Bruceville Road in Elk Grove. Several hundred people gathered outside local restaurants Journey to the Dumpling and Shabu Shack for the event. The Kim Quang Lion Dance Team put on a performance for the crowd just as they had prepared. Khanh Le, who helps direct the dance team, said it’s important the event continues on schedule, even after the mass shooting. “We cannot let these events stop everyone and do nothing. Life must go on,” Le said. The goal of the dance team is to always be a beacon of light, even in the darkest of times. This sentiment was put on full display by the dancers dressed in their cultural lion outfits. “Leos are a method of scaring off the bad energy of last year, bringing in good, positive energy to start the new year,” Le said. This positivity was palpable in every performer and every spectator who attended the event. “I think everyone should be able to celebrate their cultures without fear, so that’s what we want to continue to do,” said Elk Grove resident Van Duong. Duong said the Lunar New Year is an incredibly important holiday for her. She was devastated by the mass shooting in Monterey Park, but also made it clear that she will always stand up for herself and the members of her community. “To wake up and find that out was really disheartening, and of course I texted some friends about it, but we can’t let that overshadow what we’re here to celebrate,” Duong said. “We want to come out and say we’re still here.” The Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus of California released a statement that read in part: “The Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus of California (AAPILC ) joins the country in mourning with the families of the victims of last night’s Monterey Park mass shooting. During the annual Lunar New Year celebration, when families gather to welcome the new year, our community is once again faced with another tragic incident of gun violence that continues to escalate during these times.” AAPILC said it will be hosting a vigil on the west steps of the California State Capitol on Monday at 2:30 p.m. They said the event will “serve as a safe place for our community and our allies to come together in solidarity.”

Lunar New Year events in California continued as scheduled Sunday, despite the deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park.

Authorities said 10 people were shot and killed and at least 10 others were wounded after a gunman opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park Saturday night amid Lunar New Year celebrations.

20 to 30 minutes later, a man with a gun entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby Alhambra. Detectives believe the two incidents are related. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the suspect as 72-year-old Huu Canh Tran and said he was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van.

The shooting sparked fear in many Asian communities in the state and across the country. While some Lunar New Year events, including Sunday’s remaining festivities in Monterey Park, were canceled, others went ahead as planned. That included a celebration near Laguna Boulevard and Bruceville Road in Elk Grove.

Several hundred people gathered outside local restaurants Journey to the Dumpling and Shabu Shack for the event. The Kim Quang Lion Dance Team put on a performance for the crowd just as they had prepared. Khanh Le, who helps direct the dance team, said it’s important the event continues on schedule, even after the mass shooting.

“We cannot let these events shut everyone down and do nothing. Life must go on,” Le said.

Le said the dance team’s goal is to always be a beacon of light, even in the darkest of times. This sentiment was put on full display by the dancers dressed in their cultural lion outfits.

“Leos are a method of scaring away the bad energy of the past year, bringing in good, positive energy to start the new year,” Le said.

This positivity was palpable in every performer and every spectator who attended the event.

“I think everyone should be able to celebrate their cultures without fear, so that’s what we want to continue to do,” said Van Duong, an Elk Grove resident.

Duong said the Lunar New Year is an incredibly important holiday for her. She was devastated by the mass shooting in Monterey Park, but also made it clear that she will always stand up for herself and the members of her community.

“To wake up and find that out was really disheartening, and of course I texted some friends about it, but we can’t let that overshadow what we’re here to celebrate,” Duong said. “We want to show up and say we’re still here.”

The California Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus released a statement that read in part:

“The California Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (AAPILC) joins the country in mourning the families of the victims of last night’s mass shooting in Monterey Park. During the annual Lunar New Year celebration, when families gather to welcome the new year, our community is once again faced with another tragic incident of gun violence that continues to escalate during these times.”

AAPILC said it will host a vigil on the west steps of the California State Capitol on Monday at 2:30 p.m. They said the event will “serve as a safe place for our community and our allies to come together in solidarity.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *