Brandon Tsay: Video shows moment hero, 26, wrestled gun away from Monterey Park shooter Huu Can Tran
Warning: This article contains disturbing footage that could be traumatic for some readers. Discretion is advised
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: A brave young man tackled California dance club mass shooter Huu Can Tran by grabbing his semi-automatic assault pistol even after knowing the fact that he might die during the brawl. The harrowing moment was revealed through a series of surveillance images. Brandon Tsay, 26, was seen scuffling with the 72-year-old shooter as he stormed into the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio after killing 11 people and leaving many others injured at a nearby dance hall in Monterey Park late Saturday, January 21.
Tsay told 'Good Morning America' that he thought nothing of hearing the ballroom door closing until it was “instantly followed by the sound of a metal object clinking together.” “That’s when I turned around and saw that there was an Asian man holding a gun,” he said of the terrifying scene in the ballroom, according to New York Post. “My first thought was I was gonna die here. This was it." Tsay claimed it was the first time he saw a gun in front of his eyes and immediately became alarmed that the gunman “wasn’t here to rob us.”
“When he was looking around the room, it seemed like he was looking for targets. People do harm,” the heroic bystander told 'GMA,' recalling how the mass shooter then “started prepping his weapon.” He also told the outlet that the man’s “eyes were menacing.” “Something came over me — I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him,” he told the morning show, which showed surveillance images of his fight which authorities say “saved lives.”
He knew he “needed to take this weapon [and] disarm him or else everybody would have died.” “When I got the courage, I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle” to get control of the gun, he said. “He was hitting me across the face, especially in the back of my head. I was trying to use my elbows to separate the gun away from him, create some distance,” he recalled of his caught-on-camera tussle. “Finally at one point I was able to pull the gun away from him,” Tsay said. The surveillance images showed him as he grabbed hold of the deadly gun.
“That moment, it was primal instinct,” he said. “I don’t know what came over me.” He then managed to “point the gun at him” and shouted, "Get the hell out here! I’ll shoot! Get away! Go!” “I thought he would run away but he was just standing there contemplating whether to fight or to run away. I really thought I would have to shoot him,” Tsay said. “This is when he turned around and walked out the door [and] jogged back to the van,” he said of the killer who later shot himself while surrounded by cops.
“I immediately called police with the gun still in my hand,” he said. Sheriff Robert Luna of Los Angeles County had confirmed that Huu Can Tran had been disarmed by heroes at the second scene who “saved lives.” “This could have been much worse,” the sheriff said. “It was just my son. He could have died,” his father, Tom Tsay, told the outlet. “He’s lucky, someone was watching over him.”
Who is Brandon Tsay?
Tsay, a computer coder, was apparently alone in his family's Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio during his heroic physical altercation with the killer. He said he was lucky to be alive but was left with “bruising all over the body” and “shaking all night” with shock. “A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had,” he said. “But you know what courage is — courage is not the absence of fear, but the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen, such as this. And crises like this, the people need courage — especially the victims, their friends, their families. My heart goes out to everybody involved. I hope they can find the courage and the strength to persevere.”