Footage captures terrifying moment heroic coder, 26, wrestles gun from Monterey Park mass shooter

Footage captures terrifying moment heroic coder, 26, wrestles gun from Monterey Park mass shooter

Surveillance footage has captured the terrifying moment a heroic 26-year-old bravely wrestled a gun away from the Monterey Park mass shooter as he attempted to carry out a second attack at another ballroom studio in California.

The video, captured by a security camera, shows two men appearing struggling with each other inside the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra.

One of the men is Huu Can Tran, the 72-year-old suspected gunman who minutes earlier shot dead 10 victims inside a different ballroom studio in nearby Monterey Park.

He is seen dressed in a black leather jacket and patterned beanie hat – the same clothing he is wearing in the surveillance footage grab that was circulated to the public during the 12-hour manhunt for the mass killer.

The second man has now been identified as Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old coder whose family runs the Lai Lai club and who is now being hailed as a hero for stopping the gunman in his tracks.

Mr Tsay managed to wrestle the semiautomatic assault pistol from Tran, who then fled the scene – with no one at that second studio injured.

The 26-year-old told the New York Times that the incident unfolded at Lai Lai just before closing when there was just three people still on the dance floor.

He said that he was in the office off the lobby watching the ballroom when he heard the front doors swing close and a noise that sounded like metal hitting metal.

At that moment, he said he turned around to see the suspect pointing a gun at him.

Mr Tray described the suspect as “menacing” saying: “He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm.” The two men got into a struggle before the 26-year-old managed to disarm the gunman.

The incident at the Lai Lai Ballroom came around 20 minutes after the gunman entered the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park at around 10.22pm on Saturday night, where he opened fire into the crowd of patrons.

The horror attack, taking place in the majority Asian-American community, unfolded not long after thousands had gathered in the area to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year.

Ten people were killed in the attack while another 10 were also wounded but survived and were taken to hospital for treatment.

After moving onto the Lai Lai club –where he was stopped in his tracks by patrons – he went on the run and a huge manhunt was launched to track him down.

It culminated around 12 hours later with a police standoff in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park.

Surveillance footage captures a brave patron stopping the gunman at Lai Lai Ballroom

( Lai Lai Ballroom)

Witnesses at the Alhambra incident had reported seeing a white van at the scene and officers spotted Tran driving the van around Torrance on Sunday morning.

Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said at a press conference on Sunday that, as police closed in, Tran drove into a parking lot and shot himself dead.

“When officers exited their patrol vehicle to contact the occupant, they heard one gunshot coming from within the van,” the sheriff said.

SWAT teams surrounded the vehicle before approaching the van and finding Tran dead inside from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he said.

Evidence found inside the vehicle – including a handgun – allegedly ties the 72-year-old to the shooting.

Authorities believe Tran acted alone and are not seeking anyone else in connection to the mass shooting.

The motive for the massacre remains unclear, marking the deadliest mass shooting in the US since 21 young students and teachers were killed in a massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022.

However, acquaintances have revealed that he used to be a regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio and once complained that the instructors were saying “evil things” about him.

He also met his former wife at the studio, it has been revealed.

Map showing locations of Star Dance Studio, where gunman Huu Can Tran shot dead 10 people; the Lai Lai Ballroom, where he was disarmed by members of the public; and Torrance, where his van was stopped by police


One friend, who knew Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s when they both attended the studio, said that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people” at the club.

The friend, who did not want to be named, told CNN that the suspect often complained to him that he thought the dance instructors didn’t like him and said “evil things about him”.

At the time, Tran lived around a five-minute drive from the club and would visit it almost every night, he said.

The two friends hadn’t seen each other in years before Saturday’s shooting, he said.

Now, he said he is “totally shocked” to learn that he was allegedly responsible for the mass shooting as he voiced fears that some of his friends may be among the victims.

“I know lots of people, and if they go to Star studio, they frequent there,” he said.

Tran’s former wife, who also did not want to be named, told CNN that they first met at the Star Ballroom around two decades ago.

At the time, Tran was running informal dance lessons at the club and offered to give her free lessons, she said.

The pair wed soon after.

Tran’s former wife said that the accused mass shooter was never physically violent with her but that he did have a short temper, especially if she missed a step while dancing with him.

She told the network that she felt that Tran then lost interest in her and he filed for divorce in 2005.

Suspected gunman Huu Can Tran shot himself dead as police closed in

(Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department)

It is not clear if Tran was still attending the dance studio in the run-up to the mass shooting.

Investigators are now looking into Tran’s criminal and mental health history for clues as to what led to Saturday’s massacre.

The identities of the 10 victims killed in the attack are yet to be released by authorities, however friends have identified the first victim as the owner of the ballroom studio.

Ming Wei Ma, the studio owner and dance instructor, heroically ran towards the gunman to try to stop the massacre, a friend toldCBS Los Angeles.

“According to the chat, he was the first to rush the shooter,” said Eric Chen, adding that this was typical of Ma’s selfless nature.

“He was just caring, and other first, people first kind of person.”

Mr Chen added that it was “heartbreaking and it’s unthinkable that it would happen”.

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