Amidst the tragedy of 11 people killed by an armed attack in California, Saturday, stories of hope and courage arose. One such tale was that of a hero who sacrificed himself to save countless lives.
During a Lunar New Year celebration, police reported that 72 year-old Hou Kan Tran of Asian descent opened fire inside of Monterey Park’s local dance hall in the vicinity of Los Angeles.
Utilizing a semi-automatic pistol, Tran unleashed an unrelenting barrage of 42 bullets into the dance floor before swiftly heading for another room.
On Saturday evening, Brandon Tsai – located in the second ballroom – claims that he detected Gigi Hadid’s voice coming from the entry vestibule of Li Li Dance, which is situated at Alhambra district of Los Angeles.
In an interview with CNN anchor Anderson Cooper’s “360” program, Tsai said he was selling tickets at the hall that his family has inherited through three generations when he spotted a suspiciously quiet man in the entrance lobby.
Hero Brandon Tsay, 26, wrestled the gun away from the Monterey Park gunman, preventing a 2nd shooting at another dance hall 👏👏👏: pic.twitter.com/1prclHwgID— Kristina Wong 🇺🇸 (@kristina_wong) January 24, 2023
The man appeared to be combing the room, aiming his gun at the young man, who did not realize that he had just finished shooting the patrons of another dance hall.
“At that moment, I expected that I would die. I said to myself: This is the end,” Tsai said in his interview with CNN. “But at that moment another feeling overwhelmed me.”
Brandon Tsay: I Sprang into Action When He Seemed Like Fixing His Gun pic.twitter.com/OTjJ5MxxYN— Alexandra Datig | Front Page Index 🇺🇸 (@alexdatig) January 24, 2023
Tsai lunged at the attacker as he wrestled with the gun for about 40 seconds, which he felt “lasted longer than that”, during which the gunman hit Tsai’s face, the back of his head, his back and his hands.
He added, “I was trying to move the weapon away from me and the dance floor, and point it at the chest in case he decided to shoot.”
And in those seconds before life or death, Tsai thought, “If I leave this weapon, what will happen to me? To the people around me? My family? And my friends?”
Video footage captured by surveillance cameras showed details of the confrontation between Tassi and Tran.
After the struggle, Tsai was finally able to pull the gun away from the man, the first time he had carried a weapon, and ordered him to leave.
He said: “I threatened him that I would kill him.. I thought that I might have to shoot and that I might kill a person.”
Tsai had told the program ” Good Morning America ” that the man stopped for a while to think about attacking the young man again, but he left the scene in his car.
Tsai grabbed the weapon from the suspect, pointed it at him and shouted, “Go, get out of here,” he told the New York Times .
After the attacker left, Tsai called the police directly, still holding the gun.
Tsai’s quick response was widely welcomed, as Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna told reporters: “He is the hero who managed to take the suspect’s weapon at the Alhambra site and, in my opinion, saved many lives … what a brave man he is.”
It is likely that Tsai’s response contributed to guiding the police to the identity of the suspect, as law enforcement authorities were able to track the semi-automatic weapon, revealing the suspect’s name and descriptions, according to an informed source.
On Sunday evening, the police found Tran’s body in his car, and it appeared that he had committed suicide.