Coroner has started naming the men and women who were gunned down in a dance hall
The Los Angeles County coroner's office on Monday began identifying the people killed in the Lunar New Year massacre inside a popular dance parlor in Monterey Park, Calif., the same day the death toll rose to 11, after health officials announced that one of the 10 people who were wounded had died.
The office identified four victims: My Nhan, a 65-year-old woman; Valentino Alvero, a 68-year-old man; Lilan Li, a 63-year-old woman; and Xiujuan Yu, a 57-year-old woman.
While not releasing the other victims' names, the coroner's office said the women and men who were killed were all in their 50, 60s and 70s.
Nhan's family said in a written statement released on Twitter that "we are starting the Lunar New Year broken."
Her niece, Fonda Quan, said Nhan had been her mother's caretaker, and was ready to "start the year fresh" and to celebrate with friends.
She immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s and ended up making the San Gabriel Valley her home, living in the community of Rosemead. Quan said she didn't know exactly how her aunt got into ballroom dance, but she thinks it had something to do with the fun frocks she got to wear.
"What I do know is she's always been really into fashion," Quan said. "And I think those beautiful dresses come with ballroom dancing. I guess that probably has some connection."
Quan said she never heard her aunt talk about the gunman. While the family feels somewhat settled knowing he is dead, they want answers about his motives, she said.
"I hope that whatever we find, whatever we learn, it's a lesson that is learned by everyone to just understand, like, you know, what can we do better to prevent this from happening in the future?" Quan said.
Tiffany Liou, a reporter with WFAA television station in Dallas, said on Twitter that Nhan, her husband's aunt, treated her nieces and nephews "like her own kids."
"Her kindness is what's needed in this world," Liou wrote.
The statement from Nhan's family posted by Liou on Twitter said: "If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness was contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader."
Friends and patrons of the dance studio identified another victim as Ming Wei Ma, believed to be in his 60s. He was a frequent presence at the studio, and friends told a CBS affiliate that he was among the first to rush the shooter.
"He was just caring, an 'others first, people first' kind of person," Ma's friend Eric Chen told local media.
Other victims' identifications were withheld pending notification of next of kin.
With files from The Associated Press
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