My Nhan has been a regular at the Star Ballroom for more than a decade, choosing the Los Angeles area ballroom popular with older Asian Americans as a place to “start the year fresh” with Lunar New Year celebrations , said her granddaughter.
His family now find comfort knowing that Nhan, one of 11 people shot and killed in Monterey Park by a gunman on Saturday night, died after an evening of doing what he loved.
“It’s comforting to know that she enjoyed her last dance, even though it was her last dance,” said her granddaughter, Fonda Quan.
Nhan, 65, was a regular at both dance halls targeted by Tran. The spots were popular places for older Asian Americans to socialize and dance. It was there that Nhan chose to celebrate the New Year, which came three weeks after her mother’s death.
Nhan, who had been her mother’s caretaker, was ready to “start the year fresh” and celebrate with friends, Quan said.
She immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s and ended up making the San Gabriel Valley her home, living in the Rosemead community. Quan said she didn’t know exactly how her aunt got into ballroom dancing, but she thinks it had something to do with the fun clothes she wore.
“What I do know is that it has always been very trendy,” Quan said. “And I think those beautiful dresses come with ballroom dancing. I guess it probably has some connection.
Quan said she never heard her aunt mention the gunman. While the family feels somewhat settled knowing he’s dead, they want answers about his motives, she said.
“I hope whatever we find, whatever we learn, is a lesson that everyone learns to figure out, like, you know, what can we do better to prevent that from happening in the future?” Quan said.
Tiffany Liou, a reporter for Dallas-based WFAA television station, said on Twitter that Nhan, her husband’s aunt, treated her nephews “like her own children”.
“Her 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 infectious. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. Mymy was our greatest cheerleader.
Mymy Nhan was the first person shot and killed in the #MontereyPark mass shooting.
I have followed many tragedies and never imagined one would be so close to home.
My husband’s family is suffering beyond measure. Here’s a statement on behalf of the family. pic.twitter.com/q5GXa0g4Kh
— Tiffany Liou (@tliou) January 23, 2023
Donna Littlejohn contributed to this report.