Locals gathered on Saturday to help the Monterey Park community heal and rebuild following a mass shooting that left 11 people dead on Jan. 21.
It’s been a difficult and traumatizing few months following the tragedy that unfolded at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio for both residents and authorities in the tight-knit community.
A barbeque fundraiser held by the Monterey Park Fire Department hopes to raise funds to help those most affected by the deadly shooting.
“It’s been a long process for our whole membership, especially the people that responded that night, on both the fire department and our law enforcement side,” said Captain Adam Malouf of the Monterey Park Fire Department. “We feel we need to stand with the community and bring everybody together and help heal.”
Michael Ta, a Monterey Park resident, is still shaken from that night.
“You see all these things happen on TV and you don’t think it’s going to happen here where you live and this really hit home,” said Ta. “I’m trying to do what I can to help the community.”
Although healing is the ultimate goal, it will take some time, as both locals and law enforcement are trying to do the best they can in the wake of that tragic night.
“Our members did a fantastic job that night,” said Malouf. “However, something you really can’t prepare for is that mental and emotional impact it’s going to leave. Things like this leave scars.”
The community is taking it one day at a time, processing their grief and leaning on their neighbors to heal and grow stronger.
“Since we’re a tight-knit community, we hold strong together,” said Ta. “We’re here to help out each other.”
When asked what he thinks the Monterey Park community needs the most, Malouf said positive events like the fundraiser is a great start.
“It’s a hard thing to move forward from but ultimately, along with some time and being together as a tight community doing events like this so people can come out and join each other, talk about what they want to talk about and hopefully just have a little weight lifted off for an afternoon and have a good time is, I think, very important,” said Malouf.
Anyone who would like to donate to the “Monterey Park Healing Fund” can text “ReliefBBQ” to 53-555, visit the Monterey Park Fire Department’s Instagram page or donate online.