Monterey Park Mass Shooting: Remembering the Victims

Eleven people were killed during Saturday night's shooting at a California dance studio

Valentino Alvero, Xiujuan Yu, Ming Wei Ma
Photo: Alvero Family, GoFundMe (2)

The streets of Monterey Park, Calif., were alive with cultural pride on Saturday. The Southern California city, which is 65 percent Asian, was hosting a celebration of Lunar New Year, a major holiday in many Asian communities. Earlier on Saturday, tens of thousands of people had gathered in the area for the festive occasion.

But that night, joy turned to heartbreak when a gunman opened fire in a dance studio, killing 11 people and wounding at least 10 others.

The suspect was found dead the next day about 30 miles way in Torrance from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

After the tragedy, the city canceled its two-day Lunar New Year celebration. In a statement, Monterey Park Park Mayor Henry Lo said of the victims' families, "It is important for us to be there for them and provide the support they need for what will be a time of healing in the next months and years."

Below are the 11 fatal victims of the Monterey Park mass shooting.

My Nhan, 65

Mymy Nhan
My Nhan. Nhan Family

In a post on Twitter, Tiffany Liou, a Dallas reporter whose husband is Nhan's nephew, posted a statement from Nhan's family saying she'd adored dancing at the studio where she died.

"It's still sinking in what happened to Mymy," the statement says. "She spent so many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends. It's what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance."

"We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined her life would end so suddenly," the statement read.

"Mymy was 65 years old. If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader."

Her family has launched a GoFundMe to help raise money for her funeral. Nhan's mother died just 4 weeks ago, according to a Facebook post from Liou.

Nhan was the first person killed by the gunman, Los Angeles magazine reports.

Lilian Li, 63

Yu Kao, 72

Valentino Alvero, 68

Valentino Alvero
Valentino Alsero. Alvero Family

Valentino Alvero's bereaved family wrote in a statement posted on Twitter by Karmel Kwan, "…Please remember that Valentino is more than just a headline or a news story. He was a loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three granddaughters directly, and uncle who loved his nieces and nephews like his own."

The family says Alvero, a U.S. citizen of Filipino descent, loved ballroom dancing, was an avid storyteller and listener and was eternally "the life of any party."

"We will all miss him for the rest of our days on this earth. We hope that he danced to his heart's content until the very end and hope that he is now dancing in heaven," the family writes.

Wen Yu, 64

Xiujuan Yu, 57

Xiujuan Yu
Xiujuan Yu. GoFundMe

In a GoFundMe to raise funds for her grieving family, Xiujuan Yu's niece writes that Yi emigrated to America in the early 2010s to forge a new path for her family. "She and her family have done their best to make a life for themselves here, leaving their past lives behind in China to craft a new future for their little family," the niece writes.

"My aunt was in the middle of crafting that future with her husband and children, and now to have that journey suddenly interrupted is heartbreaking. She will never be able to witness what she dreamed of for all these years."

Hong Jian, 62

Diana Tom, 70

Diana Tom Monterey Park shooting victim
Diana Tom. Tom Family

The family of Diana Tom, a grandmother who adored ballroom dancing, identified her as a victim Tuesday. She passed away on Jan. 22 after being hospitalized in critical condition following the shooting.

"Diana was a hard-working mother, wife and grandmother who loved to dance," her family told The Los Angeles Times in a statement. "To those who knew her, she was someone who always went out of her way to give to others."

Per The Times, her family wrote in a statement, "On behalf of Diana Tom, we, her family, condemn this senseless act of violence that has uprooted the lives of all the victims, their families and the entire API community at large." They also requested donations be sent to a victims fund launched by Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California.

Muoi Ung, 67

Ming Wei Ma, 72

Ming Wei Ma
Ming Wei Ma. GoFundMe

Ming Wei Ma, who owned the dance studio where the shooting took place, was a longtime ballroom dancer and instructor. Friends believe he was near the door when the gunman entered, and that he actually tried to stop the shooter.

"He was just joy," his friend, Kristina Hayes, told PEOPLE for a magazine story. "You couldn't walk by him without smiling."

"He was the owner of Star Dance Studio and built a community that dearly loved and respected him for his kindness and liveliness," his family wrote in a now-closed GoFundMe for Ma (the fundraiser reached its donation goal).

Chia Yau, 76

This story will be continuously updated.

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