Brandon Tsay Speaks With Lester Holt Days After His Heroic Actions During the Monterey Park Massacre

When a gunman walked into his family’s dance hall on January 21, Brandon Tsay – who was working at the front desk – immediately froze. At that moment, he was certain that he, along with many others, were about to lose their life. But then a miracle happened, as Tsay called it in his interview with Lester Holt

“He started to try to prep his weapons so he could shoot everybody. But then it… dawned on me that this was the moment to disarm him. I could do something here that could protect everybody and potentially save myself.” And that’s exactly what he did, ultimately preventing the gunman from striking again. 

brandon tsay speaks with lester holt days after his heroic actions prevented the monterey park shooter from striking again
via YouTube (ABC News)

The gunman, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, had just killed 11 people and injured another 9 people in a shooting at a dance hall two miles away in Monterey Park. He walked into the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, where Brandon Tsay works, with the intention of killing more innocent victims. 

RELATED: Suspect Who Killed 10 and Injured More in Mass Shooting Outside a Lunar New Year Celebration in California Dead

“I slowly crept out of the site because his gaze was on his weapon at the time. So maybe two steps, three steps, and then I was in a position where I could immediately rush him. So I lunged at him and grabbed it with both my hands holding on for dear life,” said Tsay of the moment he decided to put an end to this. 

He went on to explain the struggle that ensued, which resulted in Tsay gaining possession of the gun as Huu Can Tran desperately tried to retrieve it. After about one minute of struggle, the gunman finally decides to walk out – Tsay still had the gun. The following day, the gunman shot himself in a cargo van.

Brandon Tsay explained how the night of January 21 was supposed to be a day of celebration – with many people coming into his dance hall to socialize and celebrate the Lunar New Year. In fact, Tsay said he was unaware of the shooting that happened two miles away when the gunman showed up at his hall.

“This was supposed to be a day of celebration and for people to have fun. But having someone come and ruin the lives and the families of this Chinese community of dancers — it’s just so horrific,” he added. Luckily for all the guests inside Lai Lai at the time, Tsay wasn’t about to let anything happen to them. 

Brandon Tsay Being Hailed a Hero for His Bravery

On Monday, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna praised and thanked Brandon Tsay for his ‘heroic action,’ – which not only saved his life but several others’ lives in the process. “What a brave man he is,” he added. Luna identified the weapon to be a 9 mm semi-automatic MAC-10 – a type of assault weapon. 

With mass shootings becoming an unfortunate norm in today’s society, it’s encouraging to finally have a positive ending – especially considering what the gunman did at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio just 20 minutes earlier. Who knows what else the suspect was planning if his attempt at Lai Lai had succeeded.

Tsay described what it was like coming face to face with someone who had just unleashed a mass shooting. “When he came in, he said nothing. His face was very stoic. His expressions were mostly in his eyes — looking around trying to find people, trying to scout the area for other people,” he explained. 

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Our hearts and prayers go out to the 11 innocent lives that were lost in the Monterey Park shooting, as well as the 9 injured and the families of everyone affected. We are thankful and appreciative of people like Brandon Tsay, who never hesitate to put his life on the line if it means saving the lives of those around him.

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