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Monterey Park shooter reported his attempt to stop a robbery in 1990, police docs reveal

monterey park shooter
via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

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    The deceased man accused of firing 42 bullets that ultimately killed 11 people in Monterey Park, California, on the eve of Lunar New Year said he tried to stop a robbery in 1990, a new report reveals.

    The alleged incident reportedly occurred at George’s Liquor store in San Gabriel on the night of Nov. 27, 1990. Huu Can Tran, then in his late 30’s, called 911 to report the robbery.

    Tran told police that “the little [sic] store had [sic] just been robbed,” according to police reports obtained by LAMag. 

    “He then stated he followed the suspect…a male Mexican, from the store to the bus stop,” wrote the officer who responded to the scene.

    But in a quick turn of events, it was Tran who was arrested after the officer felt “a hard object in his left jacket pocket.” 

    That object turned out to be a gun — a German-made .38-Special — loaded with hollow point live rounds, which are said to be capable of piercing body armor.

    Police said noone else had reported the alleged robbery. However, the liquor store owner confirmed with a second police unit that a man “had stolen some beer” and “another male Asian was chasing after him.”

    Tran told police that he was walking his dog when he passed by the store. After the owner claimed she was robbed, he returned to his house and grabbed the gun “for protection.”

    Tran was ultimately charged with carrying a loaded firearm and carrying a concealed weapon. 

    The outcome of the case is unclear, but it would be his only arrest record before last month’s mass shooting.

    LAMag also obtained a report about Tran informing police of threats he allegedly received after dating a married woman who “was seeking a divorce.” However, it was later revealed that Tran had been the person meddling in the couple’s relationship and that no such threats were actually made.

    Tran, a Vietnamese immigrant, was found dead in Torrance hours after the mass shooting with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was 72.

    On Tuesday, Monterey Park staff announced that the city will extend victim services at the Langley Senior Center and offer free walk-up counseling services at the Bruggemeyer Library. 

    A local emergency was also adopted and an official donation fund will be set up.

    “We are partnering with the Chinatown Service Center to provide mental health and counseling services at our library right across the street,” Monterey Park Mayor Pro-Tempore Thomas Wong said, according to KCAL. “Open during regular business hours as well for at least the next week.”

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