Monterey Park shooter was mad on the world, not simply his ex, former pals say

SAN GABRIEL, Calif. — The aged gunman chargeable for the dance corridor bloodbath in Monterey Park was out of step with different Asian immigrants who discovered pleasure and companionship in venues just like the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, former pals mentioned.

Huu Can Tran, 72, was an indignant loner who appeared to have a grudge in opposition to the world — not simply his ex-wife — individuals he crossed paths with mentioned Tuesday.

“I feel his entire life was happening,” mentioned a person who used to hire an residence from Tran and requested that his identify not be used as a result of he didn’t wish to be related to the gunman.

“He had no job, he offered his property, only a few pals, and I imagine that he had no shut pals,” mentioned the person, who added that he spoke with Tran each day on the time. “No household, no children, no job, no cash. He was hopeless and determined.”

Regulation enforcement personnel on Sunday open the door of a van in Torrance, Calif., the place the gunman within the mass capturing in Monterey Park had holed up.Robyn Beck / AFP – Getty Pictures

Whereas police have struggled to give you a motive for the bloodshed, they speculated that Tran might have been gunning for his ex-wife when he barged into the Star Ballroom on Saturday and opened hearth. The previous tenant mentioned he doubts Tran was focusing on her.

“They’ve been divorced for practically 20 years,” the good friend mentioned. “His ex-wife additionally likes to bop, so, many occasions, they’d stumble upon one another within the occasion or at occasions. I don’t suppose his ex-wife was the reason for his bloodbath.”

Nonetheless, Tran typically blamed his ex-wife for the demise of his trucking enterprise. Information present that Tran registered a enterprise known as Tran’s Trucking in Monterey Park in 2002 and that it was dissolved two years later. 

“His ex-wife talked him into closing the enterprise, and he offered the truck,” the person mentioned. 

Tran died by suicide as police have been closing in on his getaway van 12 hours after he fatally shot 11 individuals and wounded 9 extra at Star Ballroom. He later invaded the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in close by Alhambra however was disarmed by Brandon Tsay, 26, and fled.

Tran, the good friend mentioned, was additionally on the outs with the dance corridor patrons at each venues and particularly with a few of the dance instructors.

“He at all times complained that instructors have been talking evil about him or attempting to do one thing dangerous about him,” the good friend mentioned. “I’m not fairly positive if these issues have been true, however he at all times complained. He thought these instructors weren’t pleasant to him, tried to kind of expel him from the group.”

The person mentioned he had lived in an residence complicated owned by Tran for seven to 9 years. He mentioned they stopped talking in 2015 when he moved out and Tran refused to pay again the person’s safety deposit.

The dispute was settled in small claims court docket, the place the decide sided with the tenant, court docket data present. 

Most lately, Tran lived within the Los Angeles exurb of Hemet, however he beforehand known as San Gabriel residence. The largely Asian metropolis is a couple of 10-minute drive from Monterey Park.

A former neighbor, who additionally requested to not be recognized by identify, mentioned they lived throughout the road from one another for about 20 years on a modest road in a neighborhood that was as soon as predominantly Italian and is now largely Asian and Latino.

Tran, the particular person mentioned, was quiet and well mannered and largely stored to himself. On the time, Tran glided by “Andy” and ran a rug-cleaning enterprise, generally cleansing his neighbors’ carpets at no cost, the previous neighbor mentioned.

Whereas he was not rich, Tran was in a position to afford an previous Rolls-Royce that he stored parked in his driveway, the particular person mentioned. He additionally recalled seeing a white van parked on the modest property, not in contrast to the one during which Tran died.

However his clearest reminiscence of Tran was waking up 15 years in the past to the sounds of Tran and a lady he knew solely by sight arguing on the street.

“You possibly can see the plates flying,” the neighbor mentioned. “The plates have been crashing into the road, and he was yelling at her.”

And each weekend, Tran could possibly be seen popping out of his home wearing his most interesting clothes, the previous neighbor mentioned.

“He was at all times going out to bop,” he mentioned. “In any other case, we didn’t see him a lot.”

Tran’s newest tackle was at The Lakes at Hemet West, a gated “energetic residing neighborhood” for individuals over age 55.

Police have been looking the property for clues since Sunday and haven’t give you an evidence for Tran’s flip to violence.

“What drove a madman to do that? We don’t know, however we intend to seek out out,” Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna mentioned earlier.

Tran was as soon as arrested for illegal possession of a firearm in 1990, Luna mentioned, however in any other case his file was clear.

He additionally contacted Hemet police this month, alleging his household tried to poison him 10 to twenty years in the past. The allegation was by no means investigated, police mentioned, as a result of Tran by no means offered any proof to again up his claims.

Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at Temple College in Philadelphia, mentioned Tran doesn’t match the standard profile of a mass shooter.

“We all know from FBI information that the height age for violent crime within the U.S. is round 19 or 20, and that has stayed fairly fixed over time,” Steinberg mentioned in an announcement. “So this appears to be a interval of growth when there may be better threat for individuals to commit violent acts.”

Should you or somebody is in disaster, name the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, textual content HOME to 741741 or go to for added assets.

Alicia Victoria Lozano reported from San Gabriel. Marlene Lenthang and Corky Siemaszko reported from New York Metropolis.

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