California shooting upends tranquil community: 'I don't feel safe'

By Tim Reid MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (Reuters) - Since she was a little girl, Li Xia's dream was to move from China and settle in America. On Saturday night, when she

heard the gunfire that killed at least 10 people in her newfound home of Monterey Park, California, that dream was shattered. "In my heart, I always felt the United States

was the best country in the world," Xia, 50, said, just four months after leaving her home in Shenzhen Province to settle in the quiet enclave of Monterey Park close to Los

Angeles. "Now, I am so sad. I can't believe it. I don't want to stay here one more day. I don't feel safe. I want to move back to China," the retired math teacher

said. Monterey Park is part of a cluster of small cities that sit in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles, all with a burgeoning Asian American community, mostly from

China. The city of 60,000, where around 65% of residents are Asian, is consistently ranked as one of the best and most peaceful places to live in the United States. On

Sunday morning, after America's latest mass shooting, this time of revelers celebrating Lunar New Year in a Monterey Park ballroom, residents gathered in small groups in stunned

disbelief and dismay. The massacre ended what had been the city's first in-person celebration of the Lunar New Year in three years, since the COVID-19 pandemic began. The

three-day event, one of California's biggest, is now canceled. Vendors dismantled stalls on Sunday, while workers took apart a fairground. The city's motto is "Pride

in the Past, Faith in the Future," but for many the violence and horror of Saturday night has shaken that faith.