Asian American Community Rocked by Recent Shootings


Eloise Kytle, Staff Writer

Californians are in shock because of two recent shootings in Half Moon Bay and Monterey Park. These shootings took place just days apart and were targeted at the Asian American community along California’s coast.  Eighteen are dead and many more were injured in the attacks.

The Half Moon Bay suspect, now in custody, is 66-year-old Chunli Zhao. Zhao targeted specific people at two nurseries. He carried out the shooting with a gun he legally purchased.

72-year-old Huu Can Tran is the suspect in the shooting in Monterey Park. Tran opened fire at two different dance studios in a predominately Asian American community. Tran has a small criminal history, having previously been arrested for unlawful possession of a firearm.

The shooting occurred just after the first day of the city’s Lunar New Year Festival. Many people are “on edge” about the recent event.

These shootings come amidst a rise in hate crimes towards Asian Americans, which rose 150 percent from 2019 to 2020.

From 2020-2022, California had the most reported hate incidents towards Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the U.S. (over 4000).

Anti-AAPI hate comes in many forms, but 67 percent of incidents involve harassment, whether it be physical or verbal.

It is believed by many that the rise of hate crimes towards AAPI in recent years is because of the repeated use of “the China virus” to refer to COVID-19 and the blame being placed on Asian Americans for the pandemic. Comments by politicians and media pundits added to the long history of hatred against the AAPI community.