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Brandon Tsay, the man who disarmed the gunman who killed 11 people at a Monterey Park, California, dance hall during a Lunar New Year Celebration, was honored for his heroic act with a medal of courage. He is credited with saving countless lives by wrestling the gun out of the suspect’s hand at a dancehall in Alhambra, where the suspect fled after his massacre. 

After the shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, the suspect fled about 30 minutes to the Lai Lai Ballroom in Alhambra, where Tsay, 26, confronted him, and wrestled his gun out of his hands. The incident was caught on surveillance camera. 

During a ceremony in his honor on Sunday, the Alhambra Police Department presented Tsay with a medal of courage and state and local lawmakers presented him with certificates recognizing his heroism. 

“I realized that life is fragile,” Tsay said at the ceremony. “I feel that we as a community should spend our precious time reaching out to one another. Most of the victims I knew personally. They would always come by the dance studio, and I considered them friends. They were some of the most caring people I have ever met. And for them to be taken from us is such an excruciating experience.”

“I want everyone to take their time to grieve, to mourn, to recover,” he said. “But after, I want us, the people of this nation, to take action.”

U.S. Rep. Judy Chu, a California Democrat, presented Tsay with a certificate of Congressional recognition. 

Tsay and his sister, Brenda Tsay, run the Lai Lai Ballroom, which was run by their mother before she died, his sister said, reported CBS Los Angeles. Tsay said he was working in the office when he heard the gunman come in. After getting the gun out of his hands, the suspect fled.

The suspect, who was later identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. After the incident, Luna called Tsay a “hero.”

President Biden said last week he spoke with Tsay and that he was “a genuine hero.” “Instead of running — Brandon said he thought he was going to die, but then he thought about the people inside,” Biden said.

“You know, it was a struggle that Brandon prevailed. But think about what could have happened had he not done this. I really mean it,” the president continued. “You know, I think sometimes we underestimate incredible acts of courage.”