MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Mymy Nhan loved her nieces, her nephews, and the dances at the Star Ballroom, where older residents of one of the country's largest Chinese-American communities regularly gathered for socializing and formal dancing.
Nhan, 65, and 10 other people were fatally shot when a gunman opened fire Saturday night at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, leaving their survivors devastated.
Tiffany Liou, a reporter with WFAA television station in Dallas, said on Twitter that Nhan, her husband's aunt, treated her nieces and nephews “like her own kids.”
“Her kindness is what’s needed in this world,” Liou wrote.
“She spent so many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on weekends,” a family statement posted by Liou said. “It's what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance.”
The massacre was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month, and it struck one of California’s largest celebrations of a holiday observed in many Asian cultures. Asian-Americans around the U.S. have been the target of high-profile violence in recent years.
Officials have not given a motive for the shooting but said the suspect Huu Can Tran, a 72-year-old Asian man, may have had a history of visiting the dance hall. He shot and killed himself Sunday.
The statement from Nhan's family said, “We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined her life would end so suddenly.”
“If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious,” the family said in the statement. “She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.”
Liou wrote: “I’ve covered a lot of tragedies, and never imagined one would hit so close to home. My husband’s family is hurting beyond measure.”
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office also confirmed the identity of victim Lilan Li, a 63-year-old woman.
The death toll rose to 11 on Monday after one of the people who was wounded died.
The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services said that one of the four people being treated at the LA County-USC Medical Center had died of gunshot wounds.