Before you read:
- Monterey Park mass shooting suspect dies of self-inflicted gunshot wound
- Simu Liu, Daniel Dae Kim, George Takei and more speak out on Monterey Park mass shooting
The ex-wife of the Monterey Park mass shooting suspect has recently spoken out, describing her former spouse as someone who had a quick temper.
Huu Can Tran, 72, was found dead in a white cargo van after an hours-long standoff with law enforcement authorities in Torrance, California, on Sunday. Investigators said he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Evidence recovered from the van linked Tran to the Saturday shooting at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park and a subsequent incident at Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, where he was reportedly disarmed.
One witness to the massacre claimed that he went looking for his “wife” at the Monterey Park venue, which had just finished hosting a Lunar New Year celebration.
Speaking to CNN, Tran’s ex-wife revealed that she and her former husband had met at Star Ballroom around two decades ago.
She said Tran — who had been giving informal lessons at the studio at the time — saw her at a dance and gave her free lessons after introducing himself. They married soon after their first meeting.
Tran’s ex-wife said he was never violent toward her, but he could be quick to anger, such as whenever she missed a dance step.
After spending several years together, Tran’s ex-wife felt that he had lost interest in her, something her sister also reportedly confirmed. According to Los Angeles court records, Tran filed for divorce in late 2005 and secured approval the following year.
It is unknown just how frequently Tran would visit Star Ballroom, especially in the last few years.
A former friend who said he was close to Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s told CNN that he went to the dance studio “almost every night.”
At the time, Tran allegedly complained that instructors did not like him and said “evil things about him.” He was also “hostile to a lot of people there,” the unidentified former friend claimed.
In 2013, Tran reportedly sold his San Gabriel residence, which was five minutes away from the dance studio. Seven years later, he bought a mobile home near Los Angeles at a seniors’ community in Hemet, which was his last listed address.
Adam Hood, a former tenant of Tran’s, said that the suspect also frequented Lai Lai Studio.
“[While he] didn’t have many friends… he liked to dance in the ballroom, in Star Dance Studio and Lai Lai Studio,” Hood told the Daily Beast, describing Tran as a “lone ranger.”
Saturday’s shooting, which left 10 people dead and at least 10 others wounded, remains under investigation.
Police have yet to determine the suspect’s motive.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJSOCAL), in partnership with The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), Asian Pacific Community Fund (APCF), Stop AAPI Hate, Gold House, Stand with Asian Americans and Chinatown Service Center, has organized a campaign on GoFundMe for the benefit of the victims.
As of this writing, the campaign has raised $10,932.