(MONTEREY PARK, Calif.) -- The 26-year-old man who disarmed the Monterey Park, California, mass shooting suspect has been honored at a local Lunar New Year festival.
Brandon Tsay was greeted with cheers as he took the stage in Alhambra on Sunday to receive a medal of courage from the Alhambra Police Department.
"Most of the victims I knew personally," Tsay told the crowd. "They'd always come by the dance studio and I considered them friends. They were some of the most caring people."
"The start of the new year has been extremely difficult, but we have the rest of the year to spread compassion and build back our community," he said.
Alhambra's Lunar New Year festival included a remembrance ceremony for the Monterey Park victims.
Eleven people were killed and several others were injured on Jan. 21 when a gunman opened fire at a crowded Monterey Park dance studio. The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, then fled and went to nearby Alhambra, where he allegedly entered a second dance hall and was disarmed by Tsay, according to police.
Tsay told ABC News' Good Morning America last week that the gunman was "looking around the room ... he started prepping the weapon and something came over me."
"I realized I needed to get the weapon away from him ... or else everybody would have died," Tsay said.
"I lunged at him with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we had a struggle," he said. "He was hitting me across the face, bashing the back of my head."
Tsay said once he wrestled the gun away, he pointed the weapon at the suspect and shouted at him to leave. When the suspect left, Tsay called police.
Tran was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot one day after the shooting, police said.