Here is what we know : NPR

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People gather at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, Calif.

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Mario Tama/Getty Images

People gather at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting over the weekend at a ballroom dance studio in Monterey Park, Calif.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Eleven people are dead and nine are still injured after a weekend shooting during Lunar New Year celebrations in California.

Attendees at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park were celebrating Saturday night when the attack took place.

As investigators continue to look into what caused the shooter to go on a rampage, family members of those who died are sharing memories of their loved ones. Here’s what we know so far:

Mymy Nhan, 65

Jo statement on Twitter, Nhan’s family wrote: “We are starting the Lunar New Year broken. We never imagined that her life would end so suddenly.”

“She spent many years going to the dance studio in Monterey Park on the weekends,” the family continued. “It’s what she loved to do. But unfairly, Saturday was her last dance.”

Tiffany Liu, whose husband is Nhan’s nephew, said Nhan “was the first person shot and killed” during the mass shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio. Liou posted a video on Twitter of Nhan dancing, and said that this is how she hopes “aunt Mymy” will be remembered.

Nhan’s niece, Fonda Quan, he told ABC News that her aunt was shot as she tried to drive her car out of the dance studio parking lot.

“When I think about it, I think, I hope the takeaway for everyone is: just be kind. Take care of people. You don’t know what the back story is. Sometimes a smile, sometimes kind words, can make them day,” Quan said. “That’s how she lived her life.”

A GoFundMe page founded by Quan described Nhan as “kind beyond words. She cared for all the people around her. She was a loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend. She was our biggest cheerleader.”

Xiujuan Yu, 57

Yu’s niece, Kathleen Fong, wrote on a GoFundMe page for the family: “What was meant to be a night celebrating the Lunar New Year with friends ended up being a devastating and life-changing event for my family.”

Yu and her family immigrated to the United States from China in the early 2010s, Fong said. Yu is survived by her husband and three children, two of whom are studying sports medicine and kinesiology in the California State University system.

Fong described her aunt and uncle as having worked “tirelessly” to provide for their children and pay for their education as the couple worked to “chart a new future for their little family” in the United States.

“My aunt was in the middle of charting that future with her husband and children, and now that that journey is suddenly interrupted is heartbreaking,” Fong wrote. “She will never be able to see what she dreamed of for all these years.”

Hongying Jian, 62

One of Jian’s neighbors, Serena Liu, told the Los Angeles Times that Jian was known as “Nancy” and loved to play volleyball, sing, play the piano and go dancing.

“She is a very active person,” Liu told the newspaper. “She used to say she could make friends with anyone if she wanted to. She is a very nice, sweet, kind person.”

Liu said Jian was from China’s Sichuan province and had planned to return to visit her mother but could not due to restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic. She is survived by her husband.

Yu Lun Kao, 72

Kao’s dance partner, identified as Shally, she told FOX 11 Los Angeles reporter Christina Pascucci who first thought the shots were fireworks to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Shally said that after Kao was shot he stopped responding to her and she noticed blood on her hands.

“I thought I was the one who was killed,” said Shally. “I was screaming, screaming, screaming like crazy.”

A GoFundMe founded by Shally’s husband, Francois, said Kao was known in the dance community as “Mr. Nice” because of his willingness to welcome and teach newcomers.

Francois said the couple lost a “good friend” and said Kao took a bullet to save Shally, his 15-year-old dance partner.

Take Kao told the Los Angeles Times that he and Kao immigrated to the United States from Taiwan about 20 years ago and that Kao was unmarried and had no children.

Valentino Marcos Alvero, 68

Jo statement posted on Twitter, Alvero’s family members said they became “unwilling members of a community that must mourn the loss of our loved ones due to gun violence.”

“We remain frustrated, stuck with this vicious cycle,” they added.

Alvero was remembered as “a loving father, a devoted son and brother, a grandfather who loved his three grandchildren fiercely, an uncle who loved his grandchildren as his own.”

A devout Catholic who loved ballroom dancing, Alvero loved hearing about the lives of others and sharing stories about his own life with “so much drive and enthusiasm that you couldn’t help but listen and laugh with him,” his family said.

“We hope that he danced with his heart until the end and we hope that he is now dancing in heaven,” they said.

Alvero’s son, Val Anthony Alvero, he told CNN whose father was a hospitality worker who planned to retire in a year and hoped to return to his native Philippines.

Wen Tau Yu, 64

Yu’s son, Szu Fa Yu, told the New York Times whose father was retired but who had just started going to school to study for a second career as a pharmacist.

“I really admire him for that,” Yu said. “His books and notes are still lying on the desk,” he added.

Wen Tau Yu, who had immigrated to the United States from Taiwan, had celebrated the Lunar New Year with his family before going out with friends, his son said. Yu’s family reported him missing after hearing that he did not show up for dinner with friends the next day.

Ming Wei Ma, 72

Ming Wei Ma was the beloved owner of Star Ballroom Dance Studio, according to a GoFundMe page founded by Courtney Thong on behalf of Ma’s daughter, Mary.

Ma “built a community that loved and respected him deeply for his kindness and wit,” Thong wrote.

In a 2016 news story about the dance hall, Ma told the Pasadena Star-News who wanted to create a space for multiple cultures to come together and dance.

“I want to provide an active place for the Asian community of Monterey Park to help prolong their lives and improve their health,” he said. “Having a place where people from all over the world can come together and communicate through dance is how I can help.”

Lauren Woods, who taught at the studio, he said in a post on Facebook that Ma would often kiss her cheek and even pick her up sometimes.

“He was always so loving when he did it. He was so adorable to me and I could tell he was the heart of Star Ballroom,” Woods said. “So many dancers, teachers and organizers were connected to Ma and I will personally miss him very much.”

In addition to daughter Mary, Ma was also the father of son Ray, according to the GoFundMe page.

Diana Man Ling Tom, 70

In a statement, Tom’s family condemned the shooting as “a senseless act of violence that has uprooted the lives of all the victims, their families and the entire API community at large. We we honor and support all those affected,” the family said on a GoFundMe page.

Tom was described as a hardworking wife, mother and grandmother with a love of dancing. She was celebrating the Lunar New Year by dancing with friends.

“For those who knew her, she was someone who always went out of her way to give to others,” said her family.

Tom died at LAC + USC Medical Center, where she was treated for a gunshot wound.

Muoi Dai Ung, 67

Ung’s family said she was a refugee from Vietnam who loved to dance and embrace the community she discovered in Monterey Park, the The Los Angeles Times reported.

Monterey Park City Councilman Thomas Wong read the family’s statement aloud in a public vigil Tuesday night.

“My aunt loved to dance. She also loved to eat and play. Sometimes, I hear, she even tried to do all three at the same time,” said her family. “Much like our community, it was complicated, messy, easy to love and sometimes hard to understand from the outside.”

It took the Chinese-Vietnamese refugee more than 30 years before she was able to immigrate to the United States and reunite with family members – including her own daughter – who had fled Vietnam in the 1970s and 1980s, her family said.

“Tonight is a moment of grief and sorrow, but let’s also make sure that this is a catalyst for change,” Ung’s family said. “Let’s unite stronger, as a family and a community. Let’s make sure that beyond this moment we continue to dance and create spaces of joy.”

Two more victims Lilian Li, 63, and Chia Ling Yau, 76 were also killed in the shooting. We will update as more information becomes available.

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