One brave community member disarmed the Monterey Park, California, mass shooting suspect at a second dance studio after the deadly rampage and prevented further carnage, authorities confirmed Monday.
What to know: About 20 to 30 minutes after the suspected gunman killed 10 people at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran entered Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance Studio in Alhambra, California, with a gun and likely intending to shoot again, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna.
What police say: Tran was discovered in a white van in the nearby town of Torrance, California, where authorities found him dead of a self-inflicted gunshot. The individual who disarmed the gunman prevented additional carnage, Luna said. “This could have been much worse.”
Still unknown: Authorities have yet to discover a possible motive for the violence, including whether the shooting could have been a hate crime. “We want to know how something this awful can happen,” Luna said.
‘Brave man’ disarmed gunman who entered Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance
Witnesses at the Lai Lai ballroom in Alhambra, about two miles away from the Monterey Park dance studio, reported seeing the shooter flee to a white van, according to authorities. A similar van was at the site of law enforcement action in TorranceSunday afternoon, where authorities discovered Tran, who was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Tran was likely intending to shoot more people when he entered Lai Lai Ballroom & Dance, according to Luna. Brandon Tsay, who works at the establishment started by his grandparents, wrested a weapon away from him and saved “countless lives,” Luna confirmed on Monday.
“He’s the hero that disarmed the suspect,” Luna said. “What a brave man he is.”
Tsay took a 9 mm semi-automatic assault weapon from Tran at the Lai Lai Ballroom, Luna said.
Tsay told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that he thought he was going to die. “My first thought was, I was going to die here. This was it,” Tsay said.
“Something came over me. 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,” Tsay said. “When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle.”
Luna had previously said Sunday that two people had disarmed the attacker but confirmed Monday that it was one individual. Security footage shown on “Good Morning America” showed only the two men struggling for the gun.
Tsay and his family also told the New York Times that he fought the attacker on his own.
“It was just my son. He could have died,” his father, Tom Tsay, told The Times.
Police discovered a “magazine-fed semiautomatic assault pistol” with an attached large-capacity magazine at the Alhambra studio, according to Luna.
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The Alhambra ballroom was closed on Sunday in light of the shooting in Monterey Park, according to a Facebook post on Sunday.
“In observance of the tragedy at Star Dance last night, Lai Lai Ballroom will be closed today,” the post read. “Lai Lai will reopen Monday for lessons only. As an extra precaution, all students and teachers are subject to search prior to entering the studio. Our prayers go out to all the victims families.”
The city of Alhambra praised the bravery of those at the ballroom who disarmed the gunman and prevented further carnage.
“We send our thoughts and prayers to the victims. We thank the individuals who stepped up to help and prevent further injury,” the city wrote in a news release Sunday. “We also acknowledge those who stepped in here in Alhambra to disarm an individual threatening our own community.”
Contributing: The Associated Press