According to media reports, Brandon Tsai had never seen a real weapon before a gunman entered the lobby of his family’s ballroom studio in California.
Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio in the Alhambra was set to close within half an hour, the New York Times reported, when Huu Kang Chan, the man police identified as the gunman behind massacre at the Ballroom in Monterey Park on Saturday, January 21, entered.
“He looked at me and looked around, not hiding that he was trying to hurt me. His eyes were menacing, Tsai, 26, told the New York Times.
Tsai told Good morning, America that something came over him as he stood before the accused 72-year-old man 10 were killed and another 10 were injured just 20 minutes earlier at another dance studio about two miles north.
“When I got up the courage, I threw myself at him with both hands, grabbed the weapon, and we got into a fight,” Tsai told Good Morning America. “I had to get that weapon, disarm him or everyone would die.”
Tsai wrestled the gun from Tran and shoved him before pointing the gun at him and yelling, “Get out of here! I will shoot! Away! Go!” Good morning, America, reports.
Tsai is now being called a hero.
“He (Tran) was disarmed two community members who I consider heroes because they saved lives,” said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna, according to KTLA. “It could have been a lot worse.”
State Sen. Susan Rubio of Baldwin Park also praised those who stopped a potential second attack, KTLA reported.
“We would be standing here with a much bigger tragedy, so I want to thank these two people,” she said, according to the publication.
However, according to the videos, Tsai’s family claims he was alone, according to the New York Times.
“It was only my son. He could have died,” his father, Tom Tse, told the New York Times. “He was lucky someone was watching him.”
Many were quick to praise Tsai for his courage, according to Good Morning America.
“But do you know what courage is?” Tsai told Good Morning America. “Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to fear adversity when such terrible events occur.”
The Alhambra is about 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles.