Hero Man Who Wrestled Automatic Rifle From the Monterey Park Mass Shooter Had Never Seen a Real Gun Before

Brand Tsay, 26, likely thwarted a second attack at his family’s ballroom

Out of a horrific tragedy, a hero has been born. On Saturday night, at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, Huu Can Tran allegedly opened fire on a group of people celebrating the Chinese New Year, killing 11 and injuring many more. However, the death toll could have been much higher. Tran arrived at another ballroom shortly after his first act of violence, armed with a semi-automatic rifle.

However, Brandon Tsay, 26, who was working at the family-run establishment, wrestled the gun out of his arms, thwarting any potential plans of a second massacre. According to Tsay, the gun he fought out of the hands of the killer is the first he's ever seen in his life. 

Tran Showed Up at Lai Lai Ballroom After the First Massacre

Lai Lai Ballroom/Facebook

Just 30 minutes after the mass killing, Tran showed up at the Lai Lai Ballroom in the city of Alhambra holding a semi-automatic weapon traced to him. While Tsay had never seen a real gun before, he could tell that it was a deadly weapon.

While Brandon Tsay Had Never Seen a Real Gun Before, He Knew It Was a Gun to Kill People


"He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing," Brandon Tsay, 26, told The New York Times. "How it was built and customized, I knew it wasn't for robbing money," he said about the gun.

Tran Was "Looking for People" to Kill


Tsay is confident that if he hadn't disarmed Tran, more fatalities were likely. "From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people." Tsay wrestled Tran for the gun and, according to authorities, likely thwarted another attack. 

Tran Was "Prepping the Weapon" When He Wrestled Him to the Ground


"He started prepping the weapon and something came over me," Tsay added to Good Morning America. "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."

There Was a Violent Struggle for the Gun


"When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle," he added. "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."

Tsay Was Worried He Would Have to Shoot Tran


After he got the gun, Tran took a moment to leave the building, and Tsay confessed that he was nervous about actually having to use the gun. "I thought he would run away, but he was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run," Tsay recalled.

"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."

Courage Is to "Have Adversity to Fear When Fearful Events Happen"


"I was shaking all night. I couldn't believe what happened," he said. "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."

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