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Santa Barbara Asian American community reeling following LA mass shooting

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – A gunman opened fire at a Chinese- owned ballroom in Monterey Park on Saturday night.

The Chinese Lunar New Year, which kicked off Sunday, is the Year of the Rabbit, a year that is predicted to bring peace and optimism.

But this year, Chinese New Year has been shrouded by a dark cloud.

Locals were shocked to learn about the latest mass shooting.

“A joyful, peaceful celebration was turned into a night of horror, and ten people lost their lives in Monterey Park because of gun violence,” said California State Assembly Member Gregg Hart.

The Asian community is in mourning.

“To have this kind of tragedy occur on the Lunar New Year celebration is particularly tragic,” said Hart.

UCSB student Chloe Hsieh was taking part in Santa Barbara’s women’s march when she found out the news.

Hsieh said the violence triggers painful memories of the Atlanta spa shootings that targeted Asian women in 2021.

“I was like, those women who look like me…I’m about to cry…they look like my family members…And it was really hard,” said advocate for equality Chloe Hsieh.

The motive of the Monterey Park shooter is still unclear but law enforcement officials say that this could be an act of domestic violence.

“Not everybody is on our side. Oh, even the people that we hold close, like, may hold, like, these hateful ideas,” said Hsieh.

The Asian-American community in Santa Barbara is still reeling following the news of this tragic mass shooting in Monterey Park.

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Mina Wahab

Arab-American producer & reporter with a mission to dig deep in interviews, share authentically, shed light on the issues that matter, and provoke deep thought.

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