Here at Whiskey Riff, we generally don’t spend a lot of time covering the news.
While the folks over at MSNBC, CNN and Fox News are busy perpetuating the never-ending cycle of hysteria, outrage, and party politics, we’re trying to give you an escape from that with good country music, the great outdoors, a little bit of sports, and some good old fashioned redneck fun.
Nevertheless, one thing we do like to shine a spotlight on here is our nation’s heroes, whether it be military, police or firefighters, or every other first responder that helps to keep us safe.
And sometimes, it’s a hero that doesn’t wear a uniform.
By now, many of us are aware of the tragedy that unfolded in a predominantly Asian community in Monterey Park, California, Saturday night, when a gunman opened fire on people in a dance hall during a celebration of Lunar New Year Festival. In a brutal act of pure evil and senseless violence, he killed 11 people and injured nine others.
Armed with a semi-automatic handgun, with an extended magazine, which is illegal in California, the suspect has been identified as Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man.
After leaving the dance studio in Monterey Park, he went to another ballroom studio, the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, just a few miles away in Alhambra.
However there, he was met at the door by Brandon Tsay, who immediately jumped into action, as he told ABC’s Robin Roberts:
“That’s when I turned around and saw that there was an Asian man holding a gun. My first thought was I was going to die here, this is it.”
Tsay said the man was looking around the room, and he knew something was wrong:
“He started prepping the weapon and something came over me. I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him. I needed to take this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have died.
When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle. We struggled into the lobby, trying to get this gun away from each other. He was hitting me across the face, bashing the back of my head.”
Once Tsay was able to wrestle the gun away from the man, he threatened to shoot him, but Tran didn’t retreat.
At least, not initially:
“I thought he would run away, but he was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run. I really thought I would have to shoot him and he came at me.
This is when he turned around and walked out the door, jogged back to his van. I immediately called police with the gun still in my hand.”
The following day, officers located Tran in his vehicle in nearby Torrance, California, where he took his own life with a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
When asked about rising to the occasion, and saving the lives of God knows how many people, he admitted that he was shaking all night following the incident, but added that courage doesn’t come without fear.
In fact, it requires it:
“I was shaking all night. I couldn’t believe what happened. A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had to confront a situation like this. But you know what courage is? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen such as this.
In crises like this, the people need courage, especially the victims, their friends, their families. My heart goes out to everybody involved, especially the people in Star Dance Studio and Monterey Park.
I hope they can find the courage and the strength to persevere.”
Well said, man… you’re a hero.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the victims and their families… my heart breaks for the people of this community.