Ballroom capturing sufferers prepared for evening of enjoyable, dancing

A woman writes a message on a wooden heart that displays the name of a victim at a vigil outside Monterey Park City Hall, blocks from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Monterey Park, Calif. A gunman killed multiple people at the ballroom dance studio late Saturday amid Lunar New Year's celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

A female creates a message on a wood heart that presents the name of a target at a vigil outside Monterey Park Town hall, obstructs from the Celebrity Ballroom Dancing Workshop, late Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, in Monterey Park, Calif. A shooter eliminated several individuals at the ballroom dancing workshop late Saturday in the middle of Lunar New Year’s events in the mostly Eastern American area. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)


Those eliminated by a shooter that opened up fire at a Los Angeles-area casino are being born in mind by family and friends for the enthusiasm forever that brought them out that evening to commemorate the Lunar New Year.

Eleven individuals were eliminated when a shooter opened up fire on Jan. 21 at the Celebrity Ballroom Dancing Workshop, a casino in Monterey Park that is preferred with older Eastern Americans.

“It’s constantly pleased, individuals simply come and also enjoy, they simply enjoy dance,” Peter Phung, a vocalist that has actually done there and also often visited to sing karaoke also, informed The Associated Continue Thursday.

Adhering to the assault, the shooter mosted likely to an additional neighboring ballroom yet was deactivated prior to any person was fired. He left — and also on Jan. 22 shot and also eliminated himself.

In the days after the capturing, a makeshift memorial with blossoms and also pictures expanded before the Celebrity Ballroom. And also since Monday, a GoFundMe arranged by the Eastern Americans Progressing Justice Southern The golden state was nearing $1 million for the households of the sufferers.

Below are accounts of the 11 individuals eliminated:


LiLan Li, 63, that had actually mosted likely to the Celebrity Ballroom to commemorate the Lunar New Year with close friends, was “a column of stamina and also positive outlook,” her child created in a fundraising project.

“Stolen is the granny whose granddaughter slept lots of an evening snuggled in between her caring arms!” child Minutes Yi created on the GoFundMe site. “Removed from us is a possibility for her grand son to ever before feel her love and also heat!”

The blog post on GoFundMe, arranged by her nephew, Hao Hua Tan, stated that much of Li’s instant family members and also friends stay in China, and also the family members is wishing to elevate cash to not just assist with funeral prices yet to likewise bring them to The golden state for the funeral service.


Diana Tom, 70, was a “tireless mom, other half and also granny that liked to dance,” her family members stated in a declaration offered to The Associated Press.

Her family members stated that she mosted likely to the ballroom to commemorate the Lunar New Year by dancing with her close friends.

“To those that recognized her, she was a person that constantly headed out of her method to provide to others,” her family members stated.

Phung, the vocalist, kept in mind Tom as “extremely pleasant, outward bound,” and also stated that along with her enthusiasm for dancing, she would certainly likewise often execute karaoke at the location.

Tom’s family members stated that after she was injured at the Celebrity Ballroom, she was hospitalized terminally ill. She passed away on Jan. 22.


Xiujuan Yu, 57, was a wedded mom of 3 that “functioned relentlessly” to attend to her family members, her niece Kathleen Fong created in a fundraising project to cover funeral prices.

Yu came in regarding a years back from China to the U.S., where she and also her family members, Fong created, “have actually done their ideal to make a life on their own” by “functioning tasks and also tackling labor-intensive professions to make ends fulfill.”

Fong created on GoFundMe that Yu and also her other half likewise were monetarily sustaining their doubles’ university education and learnings at The golden state colleges, where they are examining sporting activities medication and also kinesiology.

Currently, Fong created, her auntie “will certainly never ever have the ability to witness what she desired for for all these years.”

Yu, that commemorated her birthday celebration in December, went to the ballroom on the evening of the capturing to commemorate the Lunar New Year with close friends, yet never ever returned house.

After “days of unpredictability, anxiousness, and also waiting in concern,” Fong stated, Yu was determined as one of the 11 sufferers.

“Directly, this still doesn’t really feel actual,” Yu’s niece created. “It took place all also swiftly.”

Fong did not promptly reply to talk to demands from The Associated Press.


Ming Wei Ma, 72, was the supervisor of the Celebrity Ballroom and also a skilled professional dancer himself. He was explained by those that recognized him as constantly grinning, assisting and also making individuals really feel welcome.

“He was a real, unique individual that was liked by all,” Walter Calderon, a dancing trainer that held occasions there, informed The Associated Press.

Calderon stated that while Ma didn’t speak much English, he conveyed a lot with his facial expressions.

Siu Fong told the AP she would sometimes lead karaoke outings for older people there, where Ma would always say hello to everyone. “He would go into my session, and talk to the singers and greet them.”


Mymy Nhan, 65, was a regular at Star Ballroom. She had been the main caretaker for her mother, who recently died, and was looking forward to the dance hall’s Lunar New Year celebrations as a way to “start the year fresh,” her niece Fonda Quan said.

“It is comforting to know that she enjoyed her last dance, even though it was her last dance,” she continued.

Tiffany Liou, a reporter with WFAA television station in Dallas, wrote for the station’s website that for Nhan, her husband’s aunt, “her family was her passion.” Liou said that Nhan had no children but “loved her nieces and nephews like her own.”

“She was kind to all strangers. Her warm smile was contagious. She was everyone’s biggest cheerleader,” Liou wrote.

Nhan, who was of Chinese descent, was raised in Vietnam and immigrated to the U.S. in 1985, Liou wrote.


Valentino Alvero, 68, was remembered as a dedicated family man who loved ballroom dancing and was “the life of any party,” his family said in statement.

Alvero was “a loving father, a dedicated son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three granddaughters fiercely, an uncle who loved his nieces and nephews like his own,” his family said in a statement.

“He loved people and hearing about their lives and in return, he shared his own stories with so much enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh along with him,” the family said.

The statement said Alvero, a devout Catholic, loved ballroom dancing.

“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 said.


Wen Tau Yu, 64, was retired, but he’d recently returned to school to study to be a pharmacist, his son said.

“He was 64 years old and retired, but he was exploring his second career,” Szu Fa Yu told The New York Times. “I really admire him for that.”

Wen Tau Yu had immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan, where he was a manager at an agricultural company, his son said.

On Jan. 21, the family had gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year before his father went out to celebrate with friends. When his father’s friends said he’d never made it to lunch the next day, the family reported to police that he was missing.

Szu Fa Yu said that if his father was a dancer, he really did not know about it.


Yu Lun Kao, 72, was a longtime member of the dance community in Monterey Park, and he was known to practice for hours.

“All day long, that’s how much he loved dancing,” Alex Satrin, an instructor who teaches at Star Ballroom, informed The New York Times.

Satrin said that Kao, who also went by Andy, had participated in his group classes and also frequently practiced on his own.

Kao’s brother, Alan Kao, told the newspaper that his brother worked in the construction business after coming to California from Taiwan two decades ago.


Muoi Dai Ung, 67, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam over a decade ago to be with family members who fled the country in the 1970s and 1980s, was an extrovert who loved to dance, her family said.

Her niece, Juily Phun, told the Washington Post that her aunt came to the U.S. in hopes of building a life here “different from the sorrows she had experienced.”

On Jan. 21, Ung, who worked multiple jobs, including as a seamstress, had gone to the Star Ballroom to celebrate the Lunar New Year with her best friend.

A statement from Ung’s family described her as “complicated, messy, easy to love and occasionally hard to understand from the outside.”

This month, Ung’s daughter was visiting her from overseas. “She came to see her mother, and now she has to bury her,” Phun said.


Hongying Jian, 62, who was known as Nancy Liu, and her husband Jeff were regulars at the Star Ballroom, their daughter said.

“They know every person,” Juno Blees told The New York Times.

The couple emigrated from China more than 25 years ago and also did everything together, Blees said. They liked to socialize at the dance hall because the clientele were about their age, and also many were also Asian immigrants.

A neighbor, Serena Liu, described Nancy Liu as “a very nice, cute, kind person” who liked to sing, play piano and go out dancing.

“She used to say she can make friends with anyone if she wants,” Liu told the Los Angeles Times.

On the night of Jan. 21, Jeff Liu was near the entrance when he witnessed the gunman storm in and open fire. He saw his wife collapse, Blees said.

They got separated and he never saw her again.

Jeff Liu’s shoulder was grazed by two bullets. He was discharged from the hospital on Jan. 22.


Chia Ling Yau, 76, had actually a passion for music, dance and travel, his family said in a statement, the Washington Post reported.

Yau’s family said he was a caring father, uncle, brother and friend that was a happy, fun-loving person. His family said that he was the kind of friend who was generous with his time, and also to his youngsters “he was generous with words of love and also affirmation.”


Stengle contributed to this report from Dallas and also Yamat contributed from Las Vegas. Also contributing to this report were reporters Terry Tang and also Amy Taxin in Monterey Park, Calif.; reporter Christopher Weber in Los Angeles; and also researchers Jennifer Farrar and also Rhonda Shafner in New york city.

This tale was initially released January 30, 2023 6:11 PM.

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