Celebrities and Politicians React to the Monterey Park Mass Shooting

Jan 22 2023 - 2:45pm

On Saturday, Jan. 21, a gunman killed 10 people and wounded 10 more in a shooting in Monterey Park, CA, CNN [1] confirmed. The shooting occurred at a dance studio near where the city's Asian-American community was taking part in a Lunar New Year celebration.

At this stage, it's unclear if the mass shooting was a hate crime, but the motive is still being investigated. Since the shooting occurred, the AAPI community has been rocked. On Sunday, law enforcement officials released a photo of the suspect, who appeared to be an Asian male. However, the suspect's name was not released. Per CNN, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that even as law enforcement continues to look for the suspect, they're also looking for ways to support those affected by tragedy. "As we're looking for the suspect, we will not forget the victims and survivors," he said.

In the wake of the mass shooting, anti-Asian hate coalition Stop AAPI Hate released a statement to the press. "After a day of celebration, we are waking up to a nightmare. This is devastating beyond words," the statement read. "We cannot imagine the pain that so many families are experiencing today."

They continued, "At Stop AAPI Hate, many people on our staff know this community well and feel connected to it. Our hearts are with the loved ones of all those whose lives were taken, those who were injured, and the countless others who were shaken by fear that no one should have had to experience. This tremendous act of violence, on one of the most important days of the year for many Asian Americans, at a place where Asian American families come to gather and celebrate, is sending shockwaves through our community. As we struggle to process the pain, we must also work to prevent this from ever happening again."

Since the news of the tragedy broke, celebrities and politicians including Vice President Kamala Harris [2], Simu Liu [3], and Ken Jeong have all spoken out about the senseless tragedy and offered their support to the victims and their families. Read their statements ahead.

Simu Liu

The "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" star tweeted [4] about the tragedy on Jan. 21. "A gunman has murdered ten people and injured over a dozen others in Monterey Park, where tens of thousands of Asian American families had gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year that day. He is still at large. This should be getting way more coverage in media. A terrible act," he began.

Liu continued, "For those who are unfamiliar, Monterey Park is a city in LA County that is majority AAPI. It's home of Asian American families, parents, grandparents, siblings, sons and daughters, aunts and uncles. All of whom were looking forward to celebrating the New Year this weekend.

"I am shocked, saddened, angered, and heartbroken for the families who have been affected tonight. Please use the replies here to post more info as it comes out, as well as any verified fundraisers for the victims. I'd like to give what I can."

Kamala Harris

The vice president spoke out about the shooting during a speech in Tallahassee, FL, on Jan. 22, per CNN [5]. "I do want to address the tragedy of what happened in my home state," Harris said.

"A time of a cultural celebration . . . and yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence," she continued. "So Doug [Emhoff] and I join the president and Dr. Biden, and I know everyone here, in mourning for those who were killed, as we pray for those who are injured, and as we grieve for those many people whose lives are forever changed. All of us in this room and in our country understand this violence must stop. And President Biden and I and our administration will continue to provide full support to the local authorities as we learn more."

Joe Biden

On Jan. 22, the president tweeted [6], "Jill and I are praying for those killed and injured in last night's deadly mass shooting in Monterey Park. I'm monitoring this situation closely as it develops, and urge the community to follow guidance from local officials and law enforcement in the hours ahead."

Daniel Dae Kim

"On a traditional day of celebration, today it is also marked by tragedy," Kim tweeted [7]. "We often speak of the term 'community.' As important as it is for ours to come together of times of celebration, perhaps it's even more important to be there for each another in times of loss."

Kim also spoke about the shooting at the Sundance Film Festival. "I'm sure many of you are aware that last night in Monterey Park, 10 people were killed and shot and another 10 were wounded by a gunman at Lunar New Year festivities," he said [8].

The "Lost" star continued, "We are here for our community today."

George Takei

The "Star Trek" actor tweeted [9], "Just heard the horrifying news out of Monterey Park, CA. A whole community wracked by gun violence and death, on what should have been a joyous Lunar New Year celebration. No motive is yet known. But we must act to end the ability of murderers to take so many lives so brutally."

Ken Jeong

"My heart goes to all affected in #MontereyPark. Senseless. This needs to stop now," Jeong tweeted [10].

Lisa Ling

Ling posted about the tragedy on Instagram [11], writing, "Monterey Park has one of the biggest Asian populations in the United States. And today is our culture's most celebrated holiday. Shattered."

Sophia Bush

"The news of a mass shooting in Monterey Park, during Lunar New Year celebrations, is heartbreaking. We're the only one of our peer nations who experiences terror & gun violence like this," Bush tweeted on Jan. 22. "It's the guns & the cultivated hatred. When will it be ENOUGH? @MomsDemand."

Cory Booker

"My heart breaks for the victims and loved ones of the devastating mass shooting in Monterey Park. We must do more to prevent the destruction and violence done by guns," New Jersey Senator Cory Booker tweeted [12].

Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota tweeted about the tragedy on Jan. 22. "What happened during the Lunar New Year event in Monterey Park is horrific. Another mass shooting, another community in mourning, another stark reminder why we have to do more to stop these attacks," she wrote [13].

Bernie Sanders

"Grocery stores. Schools. Churches. Parades. Lunar New Year celebrations. Places everyone should feel safe," Sanders tweeted [14]. "Last night's mass shooting in Monterey Park, CA is the latest horrible reminder that Congress must act boldly and NOW to protect our people from gun violence."

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