President Joe Biden on Thursday called the 26-year-old who wrestled the gun from a suspected mass shooter in California and told him, “You are America.”
“Just wanted to call to see how you are and thank you for taking such incredible action in the face of danger,” Biden tells Brandon Tsay on a recording of the call.
Biden posted a video to Twitter of his conversation with Tsay, who wrestled a 72-year-old man’s gun in an Alhambra ballroom during Lunar New Year celebrations — after the man opened fire at a dance hall in nearby Monterey Park , which killed 11 people.
After Tsay managed to secure the weapon in a protracted fight – captured on closed-circuit video later released by US media – the suspect left the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio. The next morning, he shot himself as police approached his van.
“I don’t think you understand how much you’ve done for so many people who will never even get to know you. But I want them to know more about you,” Biden said.
‘You have my respect. You are America, my friend,” the president said. “America has never backed down. We’ve always stepped it up a notch because of people like you.”
You can hear Tsay say that he was “still processing what I did and what I went through”.
“You calling, that’s just so reassuring to me,” he tells Biden.
At a celebration at the White House later Thursday for the Lunar New Year, Biden called for a moment of silence in memory of the victims and again praised Tsay.
“He attacked the gunman, wrestled him to the ground and took away a semi-automatic pistol,” Biden said.
“I think sometimes we underestimate the incredible acts of bravery: someone shoots and has a semi-automatic pistol pointed at you and you think of others. It’s pretty profound.”
Biden also hailed police and other first responders, saying “they answered the call.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is being published from a syndicated feed.)
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