Clergy Leaders Mourn Loss of Life at Monterey Park Shooting


January 22, 2023

Media Contact: Yesenia Padilla,, 415.269.3178

Clergy Leaders Mourn Loss of Life at Monterey Park Shooting 

Clergy leaders in Los Angeles County call for measures that protect people from senseless gun violence

LOS ANGELES, CA — LA Voice, multi-racial, multi-faith community organization representing 70 congregations across Los Angeles County, and its clergy leaders condemn gun violence in the wake of a mass shooting in Monterey Park on Sunday. 

The shooting, which left ten people dead and wounded another ten, happened during a Lunar New Year event held at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. Reports indicate that a second shooting in Alhambra at the Lai Lai Dance Studio is related. 

Saturday’s shooting is also the second major attack in less than a week in California. Last Monday, gunmen killed six people in Tulare County, Calif., including a 16-year-old and her 10-month-old baby.

According to the Gun Violence Archive, in 2022 there were 648 shootings in the U.S., including the massacre in Uvalde, Texas, in which 19 children and two teachers were killed.

Rev. Zachary Hoover, Executive Director of LA Voice, issued the following statement: 

“We pray for the lives lost and that their loved ones find peace and justice in the aftermath of this horrific act of violence. It is unconscionable that we mourn yet another loss of precious lives due to avoidable gun violence. The proliferation of guns in our country and the easy access to deadly weapons it affords means that individuals bent on violence can destroy lives and families. We join concerned citizens around the country and state and demand that elected officials at every level take action to limit access and end gun violence now. It doesn’t have to be this way. It is our shared responsibility to create a country where all of us are safe and secure in our congregations, our schools, and our celebrations. We remain committed to creating a beloved community and to exercising the loving power needed to realize that dream.”

Umar Hakim-Dey, LA Voice Board Chair, said:

“I pray that our siblings in Monterey Park, and all who were affected by this violence, find solace for the community’s welfare. I also pray that we begin to take preventive measures, so we can identify those social ills to prevent one’s sorrow from interrupting our peace, love, and Divine Dignity for humanity.”

Fr. Mike Gutierrez, Pastor of St. Louis of France Church, said: 

“As a longtime religious leader and resident of the San Gabriel Valley, I join people of all faith traditions praying for those killed and injured at the Star Dance Studio. I pray that our Creator be with their families and loved ones. I pray for the wounded to be healed, and we ask that  our Creator give all strength and perseverance at this time.”

Rabbi Mari Chernow, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel of Hollywood, said: 

“With horror, we look on as once again “our siblings’ blood cries forth from the earth.” We weep with our neighbors and stand in loving solidarity with our kin in Monterey Park, who gathered to dance in celebration, only to find themselves huddled in mourning. For the safety of all of us, we call for sensible gun legislation now.”

Fr. Justin Claravall, SJ, Associate Pastor at Dolores Mission Church said: 

“The prophet Isaiah said that the people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. I still sit in the darkness of confusion, suspicion, rage, and sadness for the violence that befell my neighbors in Monterey Park, just 10 minutes away from my house. I do not rush out to meet the light, but wait in crushing hope, with the families of the victims and our community, for the light to shine on us again, the light of solidarity, compassion, and revolutionary love. 

The questions of restorative justice will accompany me as I wait for the light. Who was harmed? What are their needs? Whose obligations are these?”

Pastor Victor Cyrus-Franklin, Lead Pastor, Grace UMC-Los Angeles & Inglewood First UMC, said:

“I mourn the tragic loss of life during what should’ve been a joyous, festive time and pray for the community in Monterey Park.  In times like these, we must continue to come together, across race and faith, and join in this sacred struggle against gun violence. The truth of our shared trauma and love for each other is more powerful than hatred and violence — and must be our catalyst to action.”

Rev. Carlos Rincon, Pastor of Centro de Vida Victoriosa AG Church, said:

“Pedimos a Dios que acompañe a las víctimas de este tiroteo en la ciudad de Monterrey Park y oremos por su pronta recuperación. Oramos por la recuperación de los heridos y pedimos a Dios que dé fortaleza y guía a los médicos y enfermeras que los atienden. Denunciamos los actos de violencia y muerte que se producen por el ambiente que fomenta la violencia, especialmente el uso de armas.”

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