UPDATE: Another victim of a mass shooting at a California dance studio has died, bringing the death toll to 11, the Orange County News reported Monday, Jan. 23.
The original story is below.
Brandon Tsay had never seen a real gun before an armed man entered the lobby of his family-owned ballroom studio in California, according to media reports.
Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in Alhambra was set to close within the half hour, the New York Times reported, when Huu Can Tran, the man police named as the gunman behind the massacre at a dance hall in Monterey Park on Saturday, Jan. 21, entered.
“He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing,” Tsay, 26, told the New York Times.
Tsay told Good Morning America that something came over him as he stood in the face of the 72-year-old man accused of killing 10 and injuring 10 more just 20 minutes prior at a different dance studio about two miles north.
“When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle,” Tsay told Good Morning America. “I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died.”
Tsay pried the gun from Tran and shoved him, before pointing the gun at him and yelling, “Get the hell out of here! I’ll shoot! Get away! Go!” Good Morning America reported.
Tsay is now being hailed a hero.
“He (Tran) was disarmed by two community members who I consider to be heroes because they saved lives,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said, KTLA reported. “This could have been much worse.”
State Sen. Susan Rubio of Baldwin Park also praised those who put an end to a potential second attack, KTLA reported.
“We would be standing here with a lot more tragedy, so I want to thank those two individuals,” she said, according to the news outlet.
However, based on security footage, Tsay’s family says he was alone, according to the New York Times.
“It was just my son. He could have died,” his father, Tom Tsay, told the New York Times. “He’s lucky, someone was watching over him.”
Many have been quick to commend Tsay for his courage, Good Morning America reported.
“But you know what courage is?” Tsay told Good Morning America. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen such as this.”
Alhambra is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.