Lawmakers have invited the man who disarmed a gunman in a Southern California mass shooting and the parents of Tyre Nichols to attend President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address on Feb. 7.
Nichols’ death days after being beaten by police in Memphis on Jan. 7 and the mass shooting at a Lunar New Year celebration in Monterey Park on Jan. 21 that killed 11 has outraged many Americans and brought renewed calls for sweeping gun and policing reform ahead of Biden’s address.
Rep. Judy Chu of California invited Tsay to be her guest as he received several California honors and recognition at a Lunar New Year celebration in Alhambra, Calif., according to CBS News and other outlets that covered the festivities.
But Chu said that shortly after she extended her invitation, President Biden called Tsay to do the same.
“Only an hour after I talked to [Tsay], President Biden himself asked him to be his guest at the State of the Union. … Brandon, how could you turn me down?” Chu said, per CBS News footage.
After opening fire in Monterey Park’s Star Ballroom Dance Studio, the suspect—72-year-old Huu Can Tran—traveled with a weapon to a second dancehall location, the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra.
Tsay wrestled with Tran and eventually disarmed him in a move that Chu and other California officials have said likely prevented a second bout of gunfire and deaths.