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 the place to “start the year fresh” with Lunar New Year celebrations, her niece said.
Her family now takes some solace knowing that Nhan, one of 11 people shot and killed in Monterey Park by a gunman Saturday night, died after an evening of doing what she loved.
“It is 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 both of the dance halls Tran targeted. The spots were popular places for older Asian Americans to socialize and dance. It was where Nhan chose to celebrate the new year, which came three weeks after the passing of her mother.
Nhan, who had been her mother’s caretaker, was ready to “start the year fresh” and to 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 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 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.
A 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.”
Mymy Nhan was the first person shot and killed during the #MontereyPark mass shooting.
I’ve covered a lot of tragedies, and never imagined one would hit so close to home.
My husband’s family is hurting 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.