Recent Mass Shootings Shake California

Early on Saturday, Jan. 28, a shooting occurred in a Los Angeles neighborhood, killing three and injuring four people. While little information about the victims or motive behind this act of violence has been released, this tragedy follows two other mass shootings in California that occurred this week: the Monterey Park Massacre and the Half Moon Bay shooting.

The Monterey Park Massacre occurred on Saturday, Jan. 21 at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, a largely Asian-American community in Southern California. A Lunar New Year celebration in the community hours earlier had hosted thousands of individuals. Afterwards, many congregated at the Star Ballroom, where the shooting occurred. The police arrived at the studio around 10:30 p.m. on Saturday night, but the gunman had already fled to a second location: the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio. A 26 year old pedestrian, Brandon Tsay, encountered the gunman and was able to wrestle the weapon away from him before more violence occurred. Tsay saved many lives that night and was later recognized by President Biden for his act of bravery. After the gunman was disarmed by Tsay, he escaped the scene and was found dead in his vehicle from a bullet on Sunday morning.  

In response to the shooting, President Biden issued a statement on Sunday, Jan. 22. Along with his condolences, Biden acknowledged “how deeply this attack has impacted the Asian American and Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islanders . . . community. . . many of whom were celebrating the Lunar New Year along with loved ones and friends this weekend.” 

Roughly 48 hours later, on Monday, Jan. 23, with a country and community still shaking from tragedy, more violence occurred in Half Moon Bay, California. Two mushroom farms, Half Moon Bay Farms and Concord Farms, that employed primarily migrant Asian and Hispanic workers, were the sites of yet another shooting. The gunman of the shootings on these farms had been previously employed at both locations and told reporters he had been through “years of bullying.” He was arrested on Monday and was charged with multiple counts of murder. More information will come as his court case progresses. Even from Michigan, Hope College stands in solidarity with the mourning communities of California after a week of gun violence.

Police officers in Monterey Park, CA on Jan. 22, 2023. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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