Survivors of Monterey Park Shooting Return to Scene for First Time

Survivors of Monterey Park Shooting Return to Scene for First Time

Cam To took her mother, Sophia, to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio,  the scene of the mass shooting that killed 11 people in Monterey Park, to retrieve Sophia’s car which had been there since Saturday.

The two also had to process what had happened after Cam realized she had just missed the tragic event.

“I saw there was a shooting at a dance studio and my heart just sank,” said Cam, “Because I realized it was where my mom was supposed to be.”

Sophia had just recently begun returning to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio after the pandemic.

It is a favorite place for friends to socialize with friends.

On Saturday, she was sitting and watching, not participating.

“The noise ‘pop, pop, pop, pop,'” said Sophia.

Like many in the crowd, she thought it was Lunar New Year firecrackers, until she saw people falling.

“That’s luck. I’m not apart of the line dance,” Sophia said.

With many others, Sophia ran to the safety of a nearby business.

In the confusion, she’d lost her phone.

Her family couldn’t find her until late Sunday morning. Monday her children hold her close, shuddering at how close they came to losing her.

“I feel very sorry for the people who lost loved ones,” Sophia said. “I really understand. I feel bad for the people.”

Gov. Gavin Newsom Monday expressed his frustration after a visit to the hospital reminding reporters that it’s not just the dead who are victimized by mass shootings.

He said it is also the wounded and survivors who must live with the trauma of what they witnessed, a point especially tragic, he says, in a mostly Asian community.

“Years of COVID. A community that feels under-represented, under-appreciated, under-resourced. And then a mass shooting on top of that,” Newsom said.

Newsom said he was angry and frustrated by what the Asian American community had endured before the shooting.

He added that California’s gun control laws can only go so far to prevent mass shootings if federal laws don’t follow suit.