President Joe Biden led a second of silence on the White Home on Thursday in honor of the victims of separate shootings that killed 11 individuals at a Southern California ballroom dance corridor and and 7 others at two mushroom farms within the northern a part of the state.
“Our prayers are with the individuals of Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay,” the president mentioned at a Lunar New 12 months reception.
Biden mentioned he had spoken with Brandon Tsay, 26, who was at a second dance corridor a couple of miles from the scene of the tragedy in Monterey Park when the identical gunman entered, brandishing his weapon. Tsay disarmed the gunman, who then fled.
Biden praised Tsay’s braveness and referred to as him a “real hero.”
The shootings Saturday night time and Monday got here throughout what normally are joyful Lunar New 12 months celebrations and despatched worry via Asian American communities already coping with elevated violence directed at them, a few of it resulting from misinformation in regards to the coronavirus.
Authorities have mentioned Huu Can Tran opened hearth late Saturday on a largely aged crowd of dancers on the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park. 9 individuals additionally had been wounded. Tran, 72, was later discovered lifeless from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Days later, farmworker Chunli Zhao, 66, opened hearth at two mushroom farms in Half Moon Bay, killing seven present and former co-workers, police mentioned.
The White Home had scheduled its Lunar New 12 months celebration earlier than the shootings.
Biden mentioned each communities “can be affected by what they noticed for the remainder of their lives,” including that, “as a nation, we now have to be there for them.”
On Sunday, Biden ordered American flags on federal amenities lowered to half-staff via sundown Thursday out of respect for the victims in Monterey Park. He mentioned Thursday that he has been in contact with California Gov. Gavin Newsom. He additionally despatched Vice President Kamala Harris, a local of California, to Monterey Park on Wednesday to supply condolences on behalf of the federal government.
Biden had been in California on Jan. 19, simply two days earlier than the dance studio taking pictures, to survey flood harm alongside the state’s central coast following days of heavy rains. He spoke with Tsay earlier this week.
“Thanks for taking such unimaginable motion within the face of hazard,” Biden informed Tsay in a short video of the dialog that the White Home shared Thursday on Twitter. “I don’t assume you perceive how a lot you’ve carried out for thus many people who find themselves by no means even going to know you.”
Tsay replied that he was nonetheless processing what had occurred.
“So that you can name, that’s simply so comforting to me,” Tsay informed the president.
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