Investigators searching the home of a 72-year-old man who was involved in a mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, on Saturday night found a .308 caliber handgun, hundreds of loose bullets and what they believed to be him. to build weapons-grade firearms, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said Monday.
Police also found 42 bullets and a large magazine at the dance floor where the shooting took place, Luna said. Investigators also found a gun in the gunman’s white car, he said, adding that the gun was registered to the suspect.
Despite the new evidence, authorities do not know what motivated the gunman, Huu Can Tran, an elderly Chinese immigrant who described his love of dancing and temper tantrums. He had a limited criminal record, including a 1990 arrest for illegal possession of a firearm, the sheriff said.
He said: “At the moment we do not have a goal. “We want to get to know you like everyone else, and we’re working hard to make that happen.”
FOLLOW LIFE EVENTS
The Sheriff made the announcement at a press conference less than two days after a terrorist exploded at a Lunar New Year party in an Asian American city, killing 11 people. aged over 50 and injured nine others.
At least one person was shot in a car outside the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, and police believe Tran shot the person before entering the dance studio and opening fire on the crowd, killing 42 people in all, the sheriff said.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said officers were on the scene within three to four minutes.
The man, who was still armed, fled to a dance studio in Alhambra, where he was beaten and disarmed by a bystander. The suspect fled the scene and police found him a day later in a white car about 30 miles away in Torrance, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
In the attack, he used a 9mm semi-automatic MAC-10 pistol with a large magazine, Luna said. The confiscated weapon was identified to the suspect and he provided his name and description.
A storm of blood turned one of the best days on the Asian American calendar into an unspeakable, yet potentially deadly day.
The murder, one of at least 36 such attacks in the US so far this month, has targeted mostly Asians, who have faced death threats and harassment since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. About 65% of Monterey Park’s residents are of Asian descent and about 100,000 people from the Southern California region often attend New Year’s celebrations.
“We’ve been approaching the last few years with the rise of Covid and the impact of our communities, and the rise of anti-Asian sentiment in our communities,” Monterey Park City Council member Thomas Wong told CNN. “And to have to deal with this on top of this – for our community – has been very sad.”
All of the victims – five men and six women – were over the age of 50, and three were over the age of 70, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.
Four of the victims were identified as My Nhan, a 65-year-old woman; Lilan Li, a 63-year-old woman; Xiujuan Yu, a 57-year-old woman; and Valentino Alvero, a 68-year-old man, the office said. The other victims were identified as two women in their 60s, a woman in her 70s, a man in his 60s and three men in their 70s, the office said.
Nhan, known as “Mymy,” loved to dance and spent many years at the dance hall where she was killed, according to her family. Nhan was a “loving aunt, sister, daughter and friend” and was “the family’s biggest cheerleader,” the family said.
Tiffany Liou, CNN’s WFAA reporter in Dallas, told CNN and tweeted that Nhan was her husband’s aunt. “Mymy loved her nieces/nephews like her own children,” Liou wrote on Twitter. “His kindness is what is needed in this world.”
Authorities are working to piece together the pieces of Tran’s life to understand how he came to the extreme.
The sheriff’s department also obtained a search warrant at Tran’s home in The Lakes in Hemet West, a large community about 80 miles east of Monterey Park, a Hemet police spokesman confirmed.
Hemet police said Tran visited their office about two weeks ago and told them they had made a mistake.
“Tran visited the Hemet Police Department on January 7 and 9, 2023, reporting fraud, theft, and poisoning cases involving his family in Los Angeles 10 to 20 years ago,” police said. “Tran said he would go back to the station with the documents about it but he never came back.”
Tran was previously a celebrity at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, where she offered ballroom dance lessons, three people who know her told CNN. But it is unclear how many times he has visited in recent years, if at all.
He reunited with his ex-wife there about two decades ago when he saw her dancing, introduced himself and offered her free lessons, the ex-wife said. The two got married soon after meeting, he said. He asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case.
Tran worked as a part-time truck driver, he said. He was an immigrant from China, according to his marriage certificate that he showed to CNN.
And Tran had a hot temper, his ex-wife and others said. Although he was never violent, the ex-wife said, Tran would get upset if he missed a step because he felt it made him look bad.
She filed for divorce in late 2005, and a judge granted the divorce the following year, Los Angeles court records show.
An old friend of Tran’s also remembered him as a dance studio manager. The friend, who also asked not to be named, was close to Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s, when she said Tran would come to the dance studio “almost every night” from her home near San Gabriel.
At the time, Tran often complained that the dance hall teachers didn’t like her and said “bad things about her,” the friend recalled. He said Tran “hates a lot of people there.”
Tran was often short-tempered, complained a lot and didn’t seem to trust people, the friend said.
Tran’s friend was “shocked” when he heard about the shooting, he said, noting that he hadn’t seen Tran in years.
The massacre would have been even more deadly if not for the efforts of Brandon Tsay.
After Tran opened fire on the Monterey Park dance studio, he left and went to the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio a few miles away in Alhambra. Tsay, whose family has owned the business for three generations, was working at the ticket office when Tran walked in, and quickly knew the man was a problem.
“From his body, his face, his eyes, he was looking for people,” Tsay told The New York Times.
He said: “He was looking at me from side to side, clearly wanting to hurt me.” “His eyes were scary.”
The gunman pointed a stun gun at Tsay — the first gun he had seen in real life, he told the Times.
He said: “My heart sank, I knew I was going to die.”
Tsay reacted and punched the man, he told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Tsay said: “When I got the courage, I knocked him down with both my hands, grabbed the weapon and we fought. “We fought our way into the lobby, trying to get this gun off each other.”
They struggled for a minute and a half and Tsay wrestled the gun from the gunman, he told the Times.
When Tsay took control of the gun, he told the Times, he pointed it at the suspect and yelled to “get the hell out of here.” The man fled, and Tsay called the police.
Sheriff Luna initially said there were two people who took the man’s weapons but on Monday corrected himself and identified Tsay as the sole perpetrator.
He is a hero who disarmed the suspect at the Alhambra site and in my opinion I saved a lot of lives,” he said. “What a brave man.”