Colorado Springs Asian community reacts to California shootings

COS Asian community shares fear and sorrow of Lunar New Year mass shootings
COS Asian community share fear and sorrow of Lunar New Year mass shootings
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 7:09 PM MST|Updated: Jan. 25, 2023 at 8:29 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Members of Colorado Springs’ Asian community are speaking out after California’s back-to-back mass shootings during the Lunar New Year.

Residents Wei Wang and his mother Mali Hsu spoke with 11 News, explaining that the Golden State’s shootings don’t feel so far away. Just a few days ago, the two attended their own local festivities, where security was heightened more than ever before, in anticipation of unforeseen events. Both Wang and Hsu helped organize the Colorado Springs event.

“I was on edge,” Wang said about attending the celebration. “I definitely was more aware or tried to be more aware of my surroundings than usual.”

During that Saturday’s local Chinese New Year celebration, attendees told 11 News the Lunar New Year is a time for gathering with loved ones, celebrating a lucky, healthy and fresh start.

“I wasn’t expecting to see something this horrific during a celebratory event,” Wang said.

Hsu agreed, saying it’s unfortunate people can no longer celebrate their culture comfortably.

While the two say that thankfully, they haven’t experienced much hate or racism in Colorado Springs, they can’t ignore the rise in anti-Asian/Asian American hate crimes, as well as mass shootings nationwide. As of Wednesday afternoon, the motives behind either California shootings were not yet known.

According to the Colorado Springs Police Department, there have been at least 112 bias-motivated crimes in the past three years, one of which was anti-Asian/Pacific Islander. A breakdown of the data provided to 11 News can be viewed at the bottom of this article.

Hsu and Wang are pushing for cultural awareness, asking community members to “have motivation to want to learn.” They say education can help prevent attacks stemming from “ignorance.”

In Colorado, all flags are at half-staff until Friday, to remember and honor victims of the shootings.

The Chinese New Year is still ongoing, as are the spirits of those celebrating -- it’s observed for 15 days and will end on Sunday, Feb. 5.

“It’s still going to go on, even with more reservation, possibly in the future,” Wang said. “It’s the same as, you can’t cancel Christmas, right, I mean that’s what it is for Asian people, Chinese New Year, so I don’t see it going away anytime soon.”

CSPD bias-motivated cases data from 2019-2022.
CSPD bias-motivated cases data from 2019-2022.(CSPD)