Xiujuan Yu had by no means been to Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park earlier than Saturday night time, however she accepted an invite from two mates to have a good time the Lunar New 12 months there.
Yu, 57, emigrated from Guangdong province in China within the 2010s to start out a brand new life along with her household in the USA. She and her husband settled in Temple Metropolis however spent plenty of time in close by Monterey Park.
“Quite a lot of immigrants from China go to this space as a result of there’s a central hub and there’s already a group constructed right here,” Yu’s niece, Kathleen Fong, 22, informed The Instances in an interview. “There’s a robust sense of togetherness right here.”
Monterey Park, often called America’s first suburban Chinatown, turned a “secure haven,” for the household, Fong mentioned.
That each one modified Saturday night time.
Yu attended the dance corridor’s Lunar New 12 months occasion with two of her mates and had arrived shortly earlier than the taking pictures started, in response to Fong. Certainly one of Yu’s mates went to the lavatory. When she returned, the buddy discovered that Yu and Lilan Li, 63, had been shot. Yu was mendacity on the ground and Li was slumped in a chair.
Fong mentioned Yu’s husband learn concerning the taking pictures on-line and began frantically calling Yu, however she didn’t choose up. He contacted Fong’s dad and mom to ask for his or her assist to search out her. The three of them drove to totally different hospitals on the lookout for Yu. Finally, they ended up on the Langley Middle, which was transformed by the town right into a disaster response middle, looking for details about their beloved one.
The household came upon Monday that Yu had died on the studio and by no means made it to the hospital.
“I don’t know if she even spent an hour there, possibly lower than an hour,” Fong mentioned. “It truly is a sense of unsuitable place, unsuitable time. It nonetheless doesn’t really feel actual at instances.”
They’ve since created a GoFundMe web page to boost cash for Yu’s funeral prices.
Yu and her husband had left their lives in China behind and started working labor-intensive odd jobs to attempt to help their household, in response to Fong. Yu had labored as a nanny for a number of households and her husband labored for a window manufacturing firm. They have been additionally concerned in restaurant work previously.
“They have been capable of assist their twin daughters get into faculty, which is an incredible feat in and of itself,” Fong mentioned, including that Yu’s twin daughters are about 19 and attend Cal State Lengthy Seaside and Cal State Los Angeles. Yu’s son, who’s the eldest, is in his 30s.
Yu additionally beloved to prepare dinner and a few of her favourite recipes embrace soy sauce duck, soy sauce hen and sticky rice. Yu would typically drop off meals at her kinfolk’ properties unasked. As a result of Yu knew that her father favored studying the newspaper and that he generally had bother strolling, she would exit of her method to purchase him the paper and drop it off so he wouldn’t have to depart house.
“She was actually diligent and hard-working,” Fong mentioned. “She was the sort to place others earlier than herself.”
Yu was the eldest of three sisters and Fong’s mom, who’s the youngest, has been struggling exhausting along with her sister’s loss of life. Fong mentioned she’s seen her mom cry extra previously couple of days than she has in her complete life. When photographs of the taking pictures first started circulating on-line, Fong’s mom acknowledged a purse in a image and confirmed with Yu’s daughters that it was hers. They realized that the girl mendacity on the bottom was their beloved one.
“She broke down crying the best way that I felt is indescribable,” Fong mentioned. “I simply felt the sheer grief approaching the opposite finish. It’s exhausting to listen to your mother going via that.”
Fong mentioned she final noticed her aunt a few weeks in the past for a New 12 months’s Eve dinner, and had she identified it might be the final time she’d see her aunt alive, she would’ve spoken extra with Yu.
“I can’t think about how impactful it’s for my household, not less than from my mother’s facet, that the primary little one of the household is gone,” she mentioned. “The primary little one is at all times fairly vital. That’s the second when my grandparents turned dad and mom for the primary time.”
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