My Nhan was a regular at the Star Ballroom for more than a decade, choosing the Los Angeles-area dance hall, popular with older Asian Americans, as a place to “start the year fresh” with Lunar New Year celebrations, her niece said.
Her family now take comfort in knowing that Nhan, one of 11 people fatally shot in Monterey Park by a gunman on Saturday night, died after a night out doing what she loved.
“It’s comforting to know that she enjoyed her last dance, even though it was her last dance,” said her niece, Fonda Quan.
Nhan, 65, was a regular at the two dance halls targeted by Tran. The spots were popular places for older Asian Americans to socialize and dance. This is where Nhan chose to celebrate the New Year, which came three weeks after her mother passed away.
Nhan, who had been her mother’s babysitter, was ready to “start the year over again” and celebrate with friends, Quan said.
She immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s and eventually settled in the San Gabriel Valley, living in the community of Rosemead. Quan said she’s not sure exactly how her aunt got into ballroom dancing, but she thinks it has something to do with the fun dresses she got to wear.
“What I do know is that she’s always been very fashionable,” Quan said. “And I think those beautiful dresses come with ballroom dancing. I guess it probably has something to do with it.
Quan said she never heard from her aunt about the shooter. Although the family feels somewhat settled knowing he is dead, they want answers about his motives, she said.
“I hope whatever we find, whatever we learn, it’s a lesson that’s learned by everyone to just understand, like, you know, what can we do better to prevent this from happening again in the future?” Quan said.
Tiffany Liou, a reporter for the WFAA television station in Dallas, said on Twitter that Nhan, her husband’s aunt, treats her nieces and nephews “like her own children.”
“His kindness is what this world needs,” Liou wrote.
A statement from Nhan’s family posted by Liou on Twitter said, “If you knew her, you knew her warm smile and kindness were contagious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our biggest cheerleader.
Mymy Nhan was the first person shot and killed during the #MontereyPark mass shooting.
I’ve covered a lot of tragedies, and I never imagined a strike so close to home.
My husband’s family is suffering beyond measure.
Here is a statement on behalf of the family. pic.twitter.com/q5GXa0g4Kh
— Tiffany Liou (@tliou) January 23, 2023
Donna Littlejohn contributed to this report.