The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

The Student News Site of The Webb Schools

Webb Canyon Chronicle

Monterey Park shooting shocks Asian community at Webb

Leia Albornoz
Members of Webb’s Asian Affinity group, Ben Thien-Ngern (‘23), Ian Chang (‘23), Theresa Hu (‘24), Kaylynn Chang (‘23), and Yvette Shu (’23), meet in McCarthy to organize a debrief of the Monterey Park shooting. They discuss the effects the shooting has had on the Webb community and how to best support community members during this time.

On January 23rd, Lunar New Year’s Eve, numerous Asian-Americans danced to loud music in dim lighting. They were enjoying the night and celebrating Lunar New Year, one of the most important holidays for many Asian cultures where families and friends come together to welcome the new year and wish for good fortune. However, this year’s Lunar New Year celebration drastically differed from the previous ones for those at this dance studio.  

A gunshot interrupted the celebration at Star Ballroom, soon followed by many more. 42 rounds of shots were fired, 11 people died, and nine were injured. When the police arrived three to four minutes later, people lay wounded on the floor of the studio and others were pouring out of the scene. 

“I had some relatives nearby,” Yvette Shu (‘23) said. “I was pretty scared that this happened so close to them.” 

Due to the Asian identity of both the perpetrator and the victims, the tragedy has had a profound impact on many Asian communities. Because of Webb’s security team and protocols, it is relatively safe on campus. However, students have expressed emotional struggle along with confusion and grief for the Asian community.  

“In the Asian Affinity discussion, people in general were feeling very helpless,” Hanbo Xu (‘25) said.  

The identity of the shooter was unclear when the news was released. Many Webb students speculated that this crime was a hate crime committed by a person of another race. But many were shocked when they found out that the shooter was in fact an Asian man. 

“A lot of people said that they would’ve preferred if the shooter was a white person [because] when the shooter was Asian himself, it made everyone confused to how they should feel,” said Hanbo. “Usually, with hate crimes, there is another source that you can hate, but this time, it’s within the Asian community.” 

Such disorientation was reflected in Webb’s support system.  

“In the first few days, no one was saying anything, which I felt was very strange,” said Melanie Bauman, Director of Wellness. “And when Mr. Choi opened the Chapel, no one came. I think that this is not entirely surprising just in the way I have seen Asian-American crime processing. There seems to be a delay between the event and emotional processing.” 

“Only these couple of days [in the week after the shooting] have I actually had students talk about it,” said Eric Vos, Health Center Director. 

Though only now have students started to process this event, it could feel like that the world and even Webb has moved on from the news. New sources are reporting less and less on the shooting, and conversations have died down. 

“I’m afraid that it’s going to be a big deal for a little bit and then people are going to forget because that’s typically the narrative with Asian tragedies,” said John Choi, Director of Equity. 

Many students struggle to decipher what it means for them to recover from the event and move on without forgetting. As more people start to come to terms with this tragedy, there has been more attendance at related events. Webb has hosted an open chapel and an Asian Affinity discussion and debrief. Such community events have been of importance for many of Asian students at Webb. 

“I thought it was really nice how we came together and embraced this issue as a community instead of just having to deal with it on our own,” Omji Krishman (‘26) said. 

Even though the Monterey Park shooting is becoming less “breaking news,” it is important to remember this shooting and its victims. Students should continue to support each other and spread awareness of this tragedy. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Kathy Duan, Copy Editor
In both the classroom and at your local law firm, Kathy Duan (‘25) radiates an aura of unwavering positivity, always prepared to offer a listening ear or a supportive shoulder to those in need. Serving on the Honor Committee and contributing to the Webb Canyon Chronicle as a Copy Editor, Kathy showcases her dedication and dependability, readily addressing any questions from political theory and philosophy to the finer points of the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s style guide. During the summers of her sophomore and junior years, she immersed herself in an internship at a community law firm, deftly managing client communications. Beyond her legal pursuits, Kathy shines as a passionate debater, and is an integral part of the Webb debate team. Most notably, she founded a non-profit organization, Roundtable Debate Academy, that makes speech and debate classes more accessible. Apart from the newsroom, leadership, or debate, you may sometimes find Kathy at the pool practicing water polo with friends or in Fawcett Library researching the next big story in today’s political scene. As a passionate advocate for rectifying injustices around educational equality, Kathy dedicates herself to finding solutions constantly. The next time you walk by the Fawcett Library or take a nice stroll by Stockdale Center, be on the lookout for Kathy’s next big article! Favorite Song: "Passionfruit" by Drake
Leia Albornoz, Co-Editor of Features
Now a junior, Leia Albornoz (‘25) is ready to leave an impact on her community. Very passionate about identity and representation of culture, she wants to influence those who share the same ethnicity as her to be proud and embrace their culture. During her free time, Leia enjoys hanging out with friends and making spontaneous plans. While not with friends, Leia spends a lot of her time painting and reading in nature. This year, she wants to paint the admissions fountain, as it reminds her of her current favorite collection of paintings called Water Lilies by Claude Monet. As a peer advisor, Asian Affinity Group leader, and an Editor of Features, Leia has stepped up and is prepared to show leadership around campus and in the newsroom. She loves to listen to music, and she finds herself dancing every time she hears a catchy beat. Leia best demonstrates her journalist skills in articles based around culture and identity topics that she cares a lot about. Her goal for this year's publication is to keep up pace in her work and push more articles that her peers would want to read.  Favorite Song: "Street by Street" by Laufey
Connor Plunkett, Editor of Audiovisual
An expert of the humanities, Connor Plunkett (‘23) returns to the Webb Canyon Chronicle as the Editor of Audiovisual for his final year in the program. While Connor enjoys debating and listening to music — specifically Kanye West and MF Doom — most of his time is dedicated to soccer, a lifelong passion he inherited from his family. Whether he is hanging out with friends or enforcing the Honor Code as the co-chair of the honor committee, Connor’s charismatic personality makes him a standout presence on the Webb campus. Despite preferring challenging humanities classes with historical and literary analysis, Connor’s focus and expertise are the WCC’s media section, contributing to podcasts and vlogs alike. His favorite film is La Heine, and he’s currently reading The Brothers Karamazov, both incredibly intense and sophisticated pieces of media and perfect testaments to Connor’s originality and intellect in his approach to journalism. Connor can’t wait to revive “Austin on The Block” and draw future journalists into the WCC with his magnetic work.   Favorite song: “Devil in a New Dress” by Kanye West 
Chloe Wang, Social Media Manager
Upon meeting Chloe Wang ('24), her laid-back personality reveals itself. Besides spending a relaxing summer back home in China, Chloe also ventured into the Inner Mongolia, casually unwinding on a camel's back while she rode through the desert and grasslands. As she returns to Webb, Chloe continues to express her carefree nature when hanging out with her friends at the Claremont Village, playing video games, experimenting with makeup, and watching anime. Chloe seeks to expand and learn more about her own culture, especially when she is away from home, and especially while she is experiencing new and different ways of life, such as living at a boarding school in a different country. Chloe has the quiet strength of immersing herself in her own world and is focused on improving her journalistic skills and her knack for innovation. As the Webb Canyon Chronicle’s Social Media Manager, Chloe hopes to increase the readership for the website by promoting the WCC on social media. Cross paths with Chloe Wang on campus, and her dynamic personality is impossible to miss.  Song: Melody – 陶喆 

Comments (0)

All Webb Canyon Chronicle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *