The First Shot of the Lunar New Year

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By Thomas Vo ’25

In California last Sunday, ten people were shot and killed by the suspect, Huu Can Tran, who reportedly died by committing suicide. Many other victims were hospitalized from the shooting but are hoping to recover to total health. This carnage is the nation’s fifth mass killing this month and has disturbed Asian American communities as well as Asians internationally. 

At Monterey Park in the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, police reported that when they arrived on the scene three minutes after receiving the emergency call, many people had been killed. The shooter did not halt for a second and moved on to the Lai Lai Ballroom with the intent to execute more individuals. Fortunately, a man at the crime scene bravely snatched the weapon, and the gunman escaped in a white van. The police pursuit made the driver pull over when they followed the van to Torrance. Right after the chase stopped, however, they heard a loud gunshot inside the van and found the suspect dead. The police have already begun searching for the killer’s motives for the Lunar New Year shooting to calm citizens.

The big question is “Are Asians the target?” Last Wednesday, a few days before Lunar New Year, a white woman attempted to murder an 18-year-old Chinese student at Indiana University, traumatizing people involved in the situation. The suspect reportedly said, “It would be one less person to blow up our country.” This statement declares hate towards Asians and simultaneously provoked many people. The massacre in California combined with this event in Indiana have alerted Asian American communities across the country and the world.

Mr. Peter Becker, head of the Frederick Gunn School, mentioned the tragedy during a recent school meeting in front of more than 300 students from every class. We all took a moment of silence for the innocent souls who passed away.

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