By Mitch Lehman
San Marino Tribune
San Marino resident Brandon Tsay was honored last Friday at a San Marino City Council meeting for the heroism he displayed on Saturday, Jan. 21, when he disarmed a gunman who had killed 11 and injured nine at a dance hall in Monterey Park.
San Marino Mayor Steve Talt began the proceedings by saying, “I don’t think any of us wake up in the morning and think this is the day we are called upon or think how many of us will put themselves at risk for the safety of others. But I do know that many people woke up that following morning unharmed because you, Brandon Tsay, freely put yourself at risk to help others.
“As the saying goes, not all heroes wear capes,” Talt added.
“There is a song and I think I am the first among the City Council to mention the group Alabama at a council meeting.”
Talt then quoted the song “Angels Among Us”: “They say there are angels among us, they wear so many faces and show up in the strangest places, to grace us with their mercy in our time of need.” Talt then said: “Brandon, that was you on that day.”
“It’s in honoring you that we can come together in such a time of tragedy [to acknowledge] there are people like you out there that we can celebrate. This is just a small token of our appreciation,” Talt said, reading a proclamation and presenting Tsay with an official city plaque.
“I know I am not the president of the United States,” Talt said, referring to President Joe Biden who had invited Tsay to attend the State of the Union Address on Feb. 7.
“Thank you for coming here and allowing our community to honor you. You showed extraordinary courage.”
When it was Tsay’s turn to speak, he praised the community’s education system and said, “Growing up in San Marino was a very excellent experience,” adding “I think that our city is strong.”
He then received a standing ovation from those in attendance.
The 26-year-old hero was accompanied to the meeting by his father, Thomas Tsay, who also went with him to Washington, D.C., for the State of the Union.
Tsay has partnered with the Asian Pacific Community Fund to establish the Brandon Tsay Hero Fund, aimed at supporting the Asian American Pacific Islander community.