The courageous man who stopped the Monterey Park shooter from possibly killing more innocent lives was honored for his heroics during the California city Lunar New Year festival.
Cheers of “Thank you Brandon” rang out for Brandon Tsay a week after the 26-year-old quickly disarmed gunman Huu Can Tran inside Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio after Tran had already killed 11 people and injured more at nearby dance club Star Dance Studio.
Tsay received a medal of courage award from the Alhambra Police Department and other accolades during Sunday’s ceremony on the festival’s main stage, according to CNN. One sign reportedly read “Brandon Tsay is our hero” as he received a standing ovation.
Tsay will also be a guest of President Biden during his State of the Union address scheduled for Feb. 7, according to reports.
Originally, House Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said she invited Tsay to be a guest of hers ahead of Biden’s speech. But then the commander-in-chief reached out to Tsay to personally ask him to be his guest, CNN reported.
“To be that guest means that (Biden) will be recognizing Brandon Tsay in front of the entire nation,” Chu said, according to USA Today.
Biden previously called Tsay last week and thanked him for “such incredible action in the face of danger.”
“I don’t think you understand just how much you’ve done for so many people who are never going to even know you,” Biden told Tsay.
Tsay said the entire situation is still surreal to him.
“Most of the victims I knew personally. They would always come by the dance studio, and I consider them friends. They were some of the most caring people I’ve ever met, and for them to be taken from us is such an excruciating experience,” he said, according to the newspaper.
Surveillance of Tsay and the gunman show the two wrestling for about two minutes before Tsay pulled a semi-automatic assault pistol out of Tran’s hands before the killer left.
Tran later died by suicide.
One festival reveler said she decided to attend after hearing Tsay would be honored and compared his presence to spotting a celebrity.
“He’s definitely a hero,” California resident Mandy Ho told USA Today. “Sometimes you just freeze and you don’t know what to do… he had the courage and I really honor him for his heroic actions.”
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