MONTEREY PARK, CA— The 72-year-old suspect’s past and relationship to the ballroom led police to a mobile home community Monday as they investigated the shooting rampage that murdered 11 people at a Los Angeles dance hall.
Hemet police spokesperson Alan Reyes told The Associated Press that Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies searched Huu Can Tran’s home in a gated senior community in Hemet, an hour from the crime site in Monterey Park.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese was unaware of the search results or if Tran, who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, wrote a note explaining why he shot up the dance club.
“We all want answers to questions we may never have,” Wiese added. “That’s the mystery. My individual cops want to know why. The families seek answers. Why matters. Unfortunately, we may never know why.”
Monterey Park shooting: LA County Sheriff: “The existing quo is not working.”
Reyes said Tran had reported family members’ fraud, theft, and poisoning in LA a decade or two ago to Hemet police twice this month. Tran never returned with the paperwork.
Authorities found him dead Sunday in the van he fled in after trying to attack a second dance hall. The mayor of Monterey Park suggested Tran attended the first dance hall he targeted, and his ex-wife told CNN she met him there and was offered free lessons.
After one of the ten wounded died Monday, the LA County Department of Health Services reported 11 deaths.
The Los Angeles coroner’s office revealed the initial identifications Monday, revealing that all but one of the 11 fatalities were 60 or older.
The first two women were My Nhan, 65, and Lilian Li, 63. One 50-year-old and two 60-year-olds. Two 60-year-olds and three 70-year-olds died.
Nhan’s family stated she was a nice person whose warmth was contagious and a regular at Star Ballroom Dance Studio.
It was her passion. “Unfairly, Saturday was her last dance,” the family claimed. The Lunar New Year begins shattered. Her death was unexpected.”
Authorities have revealed little about Tran.
He divorced five years after marrying in 2001, citing irreconcilable differences. They had no children, no community property, and no alimony.
In the uncontested case, Tran filed that he could not attend court hearings due to work, but he did not say where or what he did.
His ex-wife claimed they married shortly after meeting at the dancing hall. Due to the sensitivity of the matter, she requested anonymity.
He would get irritated if she missed a step dancing but never hit her.
Tran went from the San Gabriel Valley, a hub for Asian immigration, to Hemet, a low-income retirement village 75 miles east of Los Angeles in Riverside County.
Tran lived in The Lakes in Hemet West, a private enclave off a major road with snow-covered mountains. It has a 9-hole golf course, shuffleboard court, and dance floor. $45,000–$222,000 properties were for sale.
Reyes said Tran had no community or residential calls for service with Hemet police.
Asian Americans were frightened by Lunar New Year shootings, which overshadowed celebrations countrywide.
The nation’s sixth mass shooting this month occurred at one of California’s largest celebrations of a festival recognized in many Asian cultures, striking another blow to a community that has been the target of high-profile violence.
The deadliest attack since May 24’s Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting killed 21 people.
We understand that he may have visited this dance club before and that personal relationships may have motivated him. “But I suppose detectives are still finding and researching,” stated Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo. Public data reveal Tran had the city and nearby addresses.
The mayor and LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said the attack’s purpose was unknown. The sheriff reported no more suspects.
Luna said the suspect had a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine and a second firearm in the van where Tran died.
According to The Associated Press, USA Today, and Northeastern University, Tran is the second-oldest mass killer in the U.S. In 2011, a 73-year-old Yuma County, Arizona man killed five people before committing suicide. Since 2006, the database has recorded every U.S. mass killing with four or more victims.
Monterey Park Police Chief Scott Wiese said officers arrived to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio three minutes after the report.
They found devastation and people fleeing through all doors.
Wiese said the parking lot was mayhem when they arrived.
The gunman entered the Alhambra Lai Lai Ballroom 20 minutes after the first attack.
Brandon Tsay, who was in the lobby, told ABC’s “Good Morning America” he feared he would die.
I was overcome. “I realized I needed to grab the firearm away from him, remove this weapon, disarm him or else everybody would have killed,” Tsay stated. “When I gathered the courage, I leaped at him with all my hands, grabbed the weapon, and we struggled.”
Tsay pointed the gun at the man and said, “Go the hell out of here; I’ll shoot, get away, go!”
The intruder halted, then returned to his van, and Tsay contacted the police with the gun.
Luna told reporters on Sunday that two individuals wrested the handgun away from Tsay, who works a few days a week at the dance hall his grandparents built, but surveillance footage broadcast on “Good Morning America” showed only the two men fighting for the rifle.