Billy Graham Rapid Response Team Ministering in California After Mass Shooting

By   •   January 23, 2023

Chaplains pray with locals in Monterey Park, Calif., during a candlelight vigil following a shooting at a dance studio.

Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (BG-RRT) chaplains are comforting those who lost family and friends in the Lunar New Year’s Eve mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

The night of Jan. 21, gunfire erupted in a ballroom dance studio in a predominantly Asian American area, leaving 11 people dead and nine others injured during a Lunar New Year celebration. News outlets say the suspect, a 72-year-old Asian man, went to another dance afterward with the intent to harm others, but was disarmed. He fled the scene and later died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“What an incredibly frightening situation,” said Josh Holland, international director of the BG-RRT. “There are no words to lessen the pain of those families who are grieving right now. … We want to be able to comfort people, listen and grieve with them, pray with them and share God’s love with those who have been impacted by this horrific tragedy.”

Crisis-trained chaplains are serving in Monterey Park, located east of Los Angeles. At a prayer vigil, one chaplain met a grandmother and her 17-year-old grandson *Andrew, who was giving her a difficult time. After the chaplain connected with Andrew about his favorite football team, the conversation turned to the recent tragedy and eternity. The chaplain used a Steps to Peace With God booklet to share with him how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, and the teenager decided to give his heart to the Lord.

This is the first mass shooting the chaplains have deployed to in 2023.

The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is also ministering in Merced County, California, following devastating flooding there.

Chaplains help locals process the tragedy in their community.

*Name changed for privacy.

Please keep the heartbroken community of Monterey Park, California, and our Billy Graham chaplains in your prayers.