fbpx
Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more 11 Disruptive Startups Selected for Cohort 3 of the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program powered by Startupbootcamp AfricaRead more Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new Sameer facility in NairobiRead more Coffee with a human face: A union that improves livelihoods for Ugandan farmersRead more Trends Predicted to drive the retail industry in 2023Read more Vantage Capital exits Pétro IvoireRead more Afrobarometer charts path for Round 10 surveysRead more Unified communication and collaboration trends for 2023 (By David Meintjes)Read more 2023 starts with BIG IMPACT on Bizcommunity!Read more

US Lunar New Year hero tells of wrestling gun from killer

show caption
Police peer into the window of a van where the suspect in a Lunar New Year mass shooting in California is believed to have shot himself dead on January 22, 2023./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Jan 24, 2023 - 02:25 AM

LOS ANGELES — The young coder credited with disarming the 72-year-old suspect in a mass shooting during Lunar New Year celebrations in California has described his “primal” battle with the gunman.

The man, identified by the New York Times as 26-year-old Brandon Tsay, was in the office of the family-run Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra on Saturday night watching dancers when he looked up to see the suspect pointing a gun at him.

“My heart sank, I knew I was going to die,” he told the newspaper.

“That moment, it was primal instinct,” he said. “I don’t know what came over me.”

He lunged at the man and grabbed the barrel of the gun, beginning the fight of his life.

Tsay, whose grandparents founded the ballroom, did not know that the suspect, identified by police as Huu Can Tran, was believed to have killed 10 people and wounded 10 others just minutes earlier at another dance hall in nearby Monterey Park.

He said he had never seen a gun in real life — but that it was clear the gunman was there not to rob the place but to kill.

“From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people,” Tsay told the Times.

Dramatic screen grabs taken from a security video obtained by ABC appear to show Tsay and the suspect wrestling in the lobby of the studio.

“He was hitting me across the face, especially in the back of my head. I was trying to use my elbows to separate the gun away from him,” Tsay, whose nose was visibly bruised, told ABC.

When he finally got hold of the gun, he pointed it back at the suspect and yelled “Go, get the hell out of here,” he told the New York Times.

The suspect appeared to hesitate, he said.

“He was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run away,” Tsay told ABC. “I really thought I would have to shoot him.”

But the suspect fled, and Tsay said he called police “with the gun still in my hand.”

Hours later Tran was dead, shooting himself inside a white van in Torrance, several miles to the south, on Sunday afternoon as police moved to arrest him.

Five men and five women, all in their 50s or 60s, were killed by the gunman in Monterey Park on Saturday night.

Police said they believe the gunman intended to carry out a similar massacre in Alhambra, and credited those who disarmed him with saving lives.

Tsay, a coder who works at the studio several days a week, said he did not recognize the suspect.

Tsay’s older sister Brenda, who runs the business, said the footage showed the gunman’s fierce struggle to keep control of his weapon.

“He kept coming at him,” she told the Times. “He really wanted the gun back.”

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.