A regular at the Star Ballroom for more than a decade, My Nhan chose the Los Angeles-area dance hall, popular with older Asian Americans, as the place to “start the year fresh,” her niece said, with the Lunar New Year celebrations.
Her family now find comfort in knowing that Nhan, one of 11 people shot dead by a gunman in Monterey Park Saturday night, died after spending a night doing what she loved.
“It’s comforting to know that even though it was her last dance, she enjoyed her last dance,” said her niece, Fonda Quan.
Nhan, 65, was a regular at both dance venues targeted by Tran. The spots were popular spots for older Asian Americans to socialize and dance. It was the place where Nhan celebrated the New Year, which came three weeks after her mother’s death.
Nhan, who used to be her mother’s caretaker, is ready to “start the year fresh” and party with friends, Quan said.
She immigrated from Vietnam in the 1980s and eventually made the San Gabriel Valley her home, living in the community of Rosemead. Quan said she doesn’t know exactly how her aunt got into ballroom dancing, but she thinks it had something to do with the fun clothes she had to wear.
“What I do know is that she has always been interested in fashion,” Quan said. “And I think those beautiful dresses are part of ballroom dancing. I think that’s probably related.”
Quan said she never heard her aunt talk about the shooter. While the family feels some comfort knowing he is dead, they want answers about his motives, she said.
“I hope that whatever we find, whatever we learn, is a lesson that everyone learns to just understand how, you know, what better way can we do to prevent this in the future?” said quan
Tiffany Liou, a reporter for Dallas-based WFAA television, said on Twitter that her husband’s aunt, Nhan, treats her nieces and nephews “like her own children.”
“Your kindness is what is needed in this world,” 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 to be shot dead during the #MontereyPark mass shooting.
I’ve covered a lot of tragedy and never thought one would arrive so close to home.
My husband’s family is suffering immeasurably. 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.