“Tragedy After Tragedy”


“Gun..bullets – smith & wesson 460 magnum” by gre.ceres is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

In 2023, America suffered 40 mass shootings nationwide, five of which were in California. Within 44 hours, the state of California suffered three mass shootings: Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay, and Oakland. 

On Jan. 21, 2023, 11 victims were killed during a Lunar New Year celebration in Star Dance Studio, Monterey Park, California. The officers pulled over a white van at 10:20 a.m. and found the suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This was noted to be the deadliest attack since the May 24, 2022 shooting in Uvalde, Texas. 

This horror was quickly followed on Jan. 23, 2023 in Half Moon Bay, Calif., where a suspected workplace act of violence killed five men and two women at two different locations. All of the victims were agricultural workers and it was later confirmed that the 66-year-old suspect Chunli Zhao lived at one of the two locations they worked at. Zhao was arrested after he was found in his car outside the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Department. 

Hours later at a gas station in Oakland, Calif., seven people were injured and one was killed. When the police arrived at the scene there were several bullet casings on the ground, yet no victims. However, multiple hospitals began notifying officials when they began receiving numerous patients with bullet wounds in the surrounding areas. The Oakland Police Department identified that there had been a shooting between multiple individuals. 

Governor Gavin Newsom noted these terrifying times as “tragedy after tragedy” via his Twitter account. He acknowledged that 2023 has had the most mass shootings, within the short span of 2023, than any other year recorded.