All 11 victims of the Monterey Park shooting have been identified

All 11 victims of the Monterey Park shooting have been identified

  • US News
  • January 24, 2023
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?url=https%3A%2F%2Fcalifornia times shooting victims News For Everyone Zoohouse News

Diana Tom was out with friends on Saturday night to ring in the Lunar New Year at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park when all that joy was tragically dashed.

70-year-old Tom was mortally wounded when a gunman opened fire on her beloved dance studio, killing 11 and wounding nine, in an attack that crushed the local community – the heart of the region’s Chinese diaspora – and shocked the nation.

Family members on Tuesday identified Tom as the woman who later died in hospital from injuries sustained in the shooting, bringing the death toll to 11. She died on Sunday.

“Diana was a hardworking mother, wife and grandmother who loved to dance,” the family wrote in a statement provided to the Times. “For those who knew her, she was someone who always made an effort to give to others.”

All of the dead were identified on Tuesday. In addition to Tom, these are: My Nhan, 65; Lilian Li, 63; Xiujuan Yu, 57; Hong Jian, 62; Muoi Ung, 67; Valentino Alvero, 68; Yu Kao, 72; Chia Yau, 76; Wen Yu, 64; and Ming Ma, 72. (Li’s name was originally misspelled by the coroner).

Nine others were injured in the attack.

The gunman was identified by police as a 72-year-old man who investigators believe had visited the dance studio as well as a second dance hall at the Alhambra, which he also attempted to attack on Saturday night but was confronted and stopped by a man at work became the reception.

The next day, officials said, the suspect fatally shot himself as police approached his van in a Torrance parking lot.

“On behalf of Diana Tom, we, her family, condemn this senseless act of violence that has uprooted the lives of all victims, their families and the entire API community at large,” Tom’s family wrote in a statement. They asked for donations to a sacrifice fund set up by the Southern California branch of Asian Americans Advancing Justice and several other organizations to support the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

“Diana would be glad to know that her legacy continues with GoFundMe, which will support all of the families of the victims of this tragedy,” the statement said. “We honor and support all those affected.”

Tom was among four shooting victims being treated at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center. Another survivor – a 73-year-old woman – was released on Monday. The other two remain in the hospital, according to officials. Their terms were not immediately clear.

Family members remembered Alvero as a “loving father, a devoted son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three nieces and nephews as his own children.

“Please remember Valentino is more than just a headline or a piece of news,” the family wrote in a statement. “He loved people and heard about their lives and in return he shared his own stories with so much excitement and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh along with him.”

His family said he loves ballroom dancing, his community, and is the “life of every party.”

“We hope he danced to his heart’s content to the end and hope he’s dancing in heaven now,” they wrote.

Alvero was a Filipino American and a devout Catholic, according to the Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles, his family said. They called it a “great farce” that he had not received his last rites, a sacrament administered before death.

“Our family would like to ask all priests and Catholics to pray for him by the name of Valentino Marcos Alvero,” the family wrote. “He was a faithful servant of God and we know that more than anything he would want the world to lift up his family in prayer.”

Like others at the dance hall on Saturday night, Yu was celebrating the Lunar New Year when she was killed.

“After days of uncertainty, fear and anxious waiting, we received word that my aunt was indeed among those killed in the incident,” wrote Yu’s niece, Kathleen Fong, on a donation page set up for Yu.

Yu immigrated to the United States from China in the early 2010s, hoping to make a fresh start with her husband and three children, Fong wrote. Two of Yu’s children are graduating from California State Universities with degrees in Sports Medicine and Kinesiology.

“My aunt and uncle worked tirelessly to support and educate their daughters, taking on odd jobs and labor-intensive occupations to make ends meet,” Fong wrote. “The family was just able to get by with the support of both parents, but now that one of them is out of the picture and the high costs of unexpected funeral services await them, we have felt it necessary to turn to the community for help .”

A fan of ballroom dancing and all things fashion, Nhan was known to loved ones as Mymy, according to her niece Fonda Quan, who recalls her aunt’s infectious cheerfulness and zeal, the victories of those in her large circle of friends to celebrate .

“It’s heartbreaking,” said Quan, 32, who grew up in a home with her aunt, parents and grandmother. “It was difficult to process.”

Nhan grew up in Ho Chi Minh City and immigrated to Rosemead with her family in the 1980s.

“Unfairly, Saturday was her last dance,” her family wrote in a statement. “We start broken into the new lunar year.”

One of Nhan’s longtime instructors, Maksym Kapitanchuk, said her presence breathed life into both the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, the two locations targeted by the gunman on Saturday.

“Dance was her life,” he said, adding that she went to class every night of the week and often brought friends with her. “She was just the light of the class and the light of the studio.”

Another victim, Ma, was a constant presence at Star — a skilled social liaison, friends said, who worked and danced at the studio.

Ma — affectionately known as Mr. Ma — immigrated with his wife from China, where he was part of a well-known dance troupe, said David DuVal, a dance teacher.

“He loved what he was doing,” he said.

Lily Ko, who has been taking a class at Star every Tuesday for the past two years, recalls that Ma taught a different class. He was really good, she recalled.

Her Tuesday classes ended around 10:00 p.m., and Ma often waited for her so she wouldn’t have to walk to her car by herself.

“He made sure I was safe,” she recalled.

The Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles confirmed that two of the victims were Taiwanese Americans. According to the Chinese Consulate in Los Angeles, one was a Chinese citizen.

“Overnight we became involuntary members of a community mourning the loss of our loved one at gunpoint,” the Alvero family wrote in a statement. “We extend our condolences to the other victims and their families who have endured this heartbreaking and life-changing tragedy.”

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