Local artist honors Monterey Park victims

LOS ANGELES (KNX) – An illustrator is using his talent to shine a light on those who were killed in the Monterey Park mass shooting.

Jonathan Chang, who grew up in San Gabriel Valley, told KNX News the tragedy hit close to him.

“I have a lot of memories, like going to eat dim sum with my family in the area,” he said. “I went to elementary school there and when I heard the news, it was pretty shocking to say the least.”

Chang, who has been doing portraits of those in the Asian community since 2021, created digital portraits of the victims and posted them to his Instagram page. The captions under each post gives a glimpse into the lives of each victim. Some include quotes from their family and loves ones.

“The last one I did, I didn’t know he took a bullet for his dancing partner that he had for 15 years,” Chang said. “So even just reading that, you know, I felt like people needed to know this. There’s a lot of heroism that happened in there and even though they went down, I feel like it should still be celebrated that even in those last moments they thought of others.”

The captions also include links to the victim’s GoFundMe page,

“People get to know that beyond a statistic, this is someone’s grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle,” Chang explained.

He also said received a message from the daughter of the owner of Star Dance, which is where the shooting took place.

“Basically saying thank you for shining a spotlight on who these people were and really just telling me that a lot of them were elders just trying to find a new hobby at an older age,” he explained. “They just wanted to dance and just to socialize.”

As of right now, there are six portraits posted. Chang said he is working on more.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Jonathan D. Chang