SAN DIEGO — Dozens of people gathered for a candlelight vigil, hosted by the Asian Solidarity Collective, to honor and remember the lives lost in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.
The event took place Saturday in City Heights.
Unity in community, a candlelight vigil for a road to recovery.
“Anything that I could do to just give them good energy, and I felt like coming here just to be with the community to pay their respects to them, would also be a little bit comforting to me because it’s just really tragic and sad,” said Ron Sanchez, an attendee.
A shaken community gathered to remember the lives of 11 people in Monterey Park, plus the seven lives in Half Moon Bay, who all died from gun violence.
The LA County Coroner Medical Examiner’s Office said the 11 victims at a dance studio on Lunar New Year in Monterey Park, were between 57 to 76 years old.
Investigators are still trying to figure out a motive for the 72-year-old suspect.
In Half Moon Bay, police said a 66-year-old man shot and killed seven farmworkers at two separate mushroom farms.
Officials said the accused killer told investigators that he was set into a rage after a mushroom farm supervisor demanded he paid a $100 bill for a farm equipment crash, which he claims he did not do.
“So important for us all to keep our focus on the victims, and very importantly on the survivors,” said Therese Hymer, a board member and legislative team leader for the San Diegans for Gun Violence Prevention.
The deadly shootings pile on top of a long history of anti-Asian violence, especially during the pandemic.
Feelings poured out in the very space, where hundreds of people rang in the Lunar New Year the previous weekend. The most important and festive holiday in Asian cultures.
“And if we let violence, take that away from us, then the evil in the world wins. So, it’s very important for us to keep coming out and do what we normally do,” Sanchez said.
On Sunday, from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m., the San Diego Asian Pacific Islander will hold a community town hall that will discuss the concerns following the trauma of mass shootings, hate crimes and the lack of culturally sensitive support for victims, family members and community.
They want to create an action plan for policy changes to better serve the San Diego Asian American Pacific Islander community (AAPI).
The event will be held at the San Diego Police Department Multi-Cultural Storefront at 5348 University Ave., Suite 100, in San Diego.