Following are statements from AAPI leaders and community organizations in response to the Saturday night shooting in Monterey Park that resulted in 11 deaths as of Monday afternoon.
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park): The shooting in my hometown of Monterey Park has torn a hole through all of our hearts. My thoughts and condolences go to the victims of this horrific crime, and to their families and loved ones who woke up this morning to the worst news imaginable. I can’t even comprehend the pain and suffering they are going through.
My thanks go to the first responders from our fire and police department who so quickly arrived on the scene to assist the victims, and to the medical professionals treating the injured. I’d also like to thank Sheriff (Robert) Luna and Monterey Park Police Chief (Scott) Wiese for their rapid response and for their continued efforts to apprehend the suspect responsible for these murders. I also want to thank the FBI for their immediate presence and resources on the ground and their ongoing work to determine if this is a hate crime.
While there is so much we do not yet know, we do know this occurred at a time that should have been very special to Asian Americans in this country and around the world. Lunar New Year is the highlight of the year for Asian American communities, and a time of celebration and of being with our families. In fact, it is horrific to think that only hours before, and only one block away, I joined with thousands of people and many elected officials at the opening of the Lunar New Year Festival. But now, Asian Americans in the Monterey Park community and nationwide are in mourning and are terrified instead of celebrating.
I have lived in Monterey Park for 37 years. I served on the City Council, and as mayor three times in this city. If there is one thing I know, it is that Monterey Park is resilient. Our community is strong, and we will get through this terrible event together.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California: We have created a Monterey Park Lunar New Year victims’ fund on Gofundme.
At least 10 individuals were killed and many more seriously injured in a shooting spree that occurred just blocks away from a joyous New Year festival where thousands of people gathered. Our hearts go out to the victims of this horrific tragedy.
All proceeds contributed to the fund will go to the many individuals who are now suffering from this senseless violence. Donate now: https://www.gofundme.com/f/monterey-park-lunar-new-year-victims-fund
(Editor’s note: More than $71,000 has been raised as of Monday afternoon.)
California AAPI Legislative Caucus: The California Asian American and Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus (AAPILC) joins the country in grieving with the families of the victims of the Monterey Park mass shooting incident last night.
During a time of celebration of the annual Lunar New Year when families gather to welcome the new year, our community once again faces another tragic incident of gun violence that continues to escalate during these times.
In response to this tragedy, the AAPILC will host a vigil on the west steps of the State Capitol tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 23, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. This informal gathering will serve as a safe space for our community and our allies to come together in solidarity.
The AAPILC is committed to ending gun violence and remains dedicated to fight for equality, inclusion and justice.
State Attorney General Rob Bonta: Lunar New Year should be a joyous occasion, but instead the Monterey Park Community is in mourning. My heart is with the victims and their loved ones today.
My office is monitoring the situation and has offered our support to local law enforcement as an investigation unfolds.
To those directly harmed by this incredible tragedy: I am so sorry.
CADOJ’s Victims Services Unit is here to assist you and help you access resources as you begin the path to healing. Head to https://oag.ca.gov/victimservices to learn more.
Stop AAPI Hate: After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare. This is devastating beyond words. We cannot imagine the pain that so many families are experiencing today. At Stop AAPI Hate, many people on our staff know this community well and feel connected to it. Our hearts are with the loved ones of all those whose lives were taken, those who were injured, and the countless others who were shaken by fear that no one should have had to experience.
Our community has faced so much tragedy and trauma over the last several years. This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shockwaves through our community.
While the details are still developing, we do know that the shooter’s access to guns turned this into a massacre. From local parades, to LGBTQ+ gatherings, to classrooms, to grocery stores, to spas, gun violence continues to devastate communities of all stripes, including our own. As we struggle to process the pain, we must also work to prevent this from ever happening again.
State Treasurer Fiona Ma: I am heartbroken by the brutal acts of gun violence in Southern California that have left families shattered and lives hanging in the balance this new year. Occurring as Asian American families are celebrating the renewal of the Lunar New Year, these murders are a stark reminder that the prevalence of guns threatens our lives.
Today I join the families and communities in Southern California who are remembering the lives lost and praying for the recovery of those injured and fighting for their lives. I am deeply grateful to the heroic first responders who, like our affected communities, will long bear the emotional scars of this violence.
As we grieve this devastating loss, we must also recommit to supporting them all in the long road to mental health recovery ahead, and to honor them by preventing such senseless violence. Sensible gun legislation is required to make our communities safe for all families.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Los Angeles): Devastated by the news of another mass shooting in America, this time in Monterey Park. Lunar New Year is supposed to be a time of celebration and joy but instead we’re now mourning the loss of ten neighbors who were the victims of hateful, senseless violence. My heart goes out to the victims as well as their friends and families.
Japanese American Citizens League: What should have been a joyous weekend as the Monterey Park community celebrated the New Year, instead turned into an unbelievable tragedy as 10 people were killed and 10 more sent to hospital emergency rooms from another incident of gun violence.
The Monterey Park community is widely known as the first suburban Chinatown and is over 65% Asian American. The Asian American community has experienced a heightened level of fear over the past three years, in addition to the history of racism and xenophobia directed toward our communities. However, we are not the only communities living in fear of violence, a fear that is only heightened because of the ease with which someone might, in anger, choose to release those feelings in a barrage of gunfire with deadly consequences.
Although the killer’s motivations are still unknown, we do know that a semi-automatic weapon, with a potentially illegal high-capacity magazine, was used to carry out the mass murder. In the time since the Monterey Park shooting, there have already been two mass shooting incidents in Louisiana and numerous individual victims across the country.
The demographics of all those who were victims of gun violence this weekend are as diverse as the nation we live in. The only commonality was that they were killed or injured by gunfire. We must recognize this commonality and act as a nation to reduce the risk of harm from guns in this country. When will our lawmakers listen to the majority of Americans who agree that enough is enough and we need sensible gun safety laws?
The JACL joins the Monterey Park community and the broader AANHPI community in mourning those lost in this senseless act of violence. Our hearts are with the families and loved ones of the victims, and with those currently recovering from their injuries.
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento): Today, we woke up to another horrifying act of gun violence in our country. Lunar New Year is supposed to be a time of celebration and joy for the AAPI community, but instead we find ourselves mourning the lives of 10 innocent people. We must come together to reach out, embrace the Monterey Park community and ensure that we support them in this time of sadness and despair.
It does not have to be this way — we can and must find every avenue to save lives. I will not stop advocating for change until we make sure more life-saving legislation is signed into law. Inaction is not an option.
Rep. Michelle Steel (R-Cypress): I am heartbroken over last night’s tragedy at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park. I am sending prayers to the victims, their families, and everyone else impacted by this violence.
Japanese American National Museum: JANM mourns the victims of last night’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, Calif. Ten people were killed and at least ten others were injured when a gunman opened fire at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park on Saturday night, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. JANM will light the beacon in the Pavilion for the next month to mark the lives lost and the community trauma.
“We are horrified by this tragic act at what should be a most festive time of celebration for the Asian American community and for all of Southern California. Our hearts are with the families of the victims and all Asian Pacific Islander communities affected by this heinous killing and devastating senseless loss,” said Ann Burroughs, president and CEO.
Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): I am devastated to learn of the Monterey Park shooting on the eve of the Lunar New Year, and send my condolences to the families of those killed or injured. Our AAPI community deserves to celebrate without fear of violence.
Rep. Young Kim (R-Diamond Bar): I’m devastated to learn of this horrific incident at a Monterey Park dance studio during a Lunar New Year celebration. My heart is with the loved ones of the victims and our SoCal AAPI community as we wait to hear more.
Alhambra City Councilmember Jeff Maloney: I am saddened and angry about the horrific shooting in Monterey Park last night. Alhambra and Monterey Park may technically be separate cities, but we are truly part of the same community. Our community mourns together and we stand ready to assist them in this tragic time.
Chinese American Citizens Alliance: We stand united with the City of Monterey Park and share in the grief for the loss of victims to senseless gun violence.
Actor Daniel Dae Kim: On a traditional day of celebration, today it is also marked by tragedy. We often speak of the term “community.” As important as it is to come together of times of celebration, perhaps it’s even more important to be there for one another in times of loss. Today, my heart is with all the victims of gun violence in America, the AA and NHPI community and especially the victims of Monterey Park.
Vietnamese American Roundtable: On a day that is supposed to be joyous and blessed, the AAPI community finds out that 10 people have been killed and many others have been injured in a shooting that happened on the eve of Lunar New Year in Monterey Park — a predominantly Asian American community.
We keep the victims and their families in our hearts. While we wait for more information, we remain vigilant of the fact that violence continues to impact communities of color. We must continue the fight against gun violence and systemic racism.