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Rifle, hundreds of ammo rounds found in Monterey Park shooter’s home; jealousy raised as possible motive

monterey park shooting
via Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, ABC7

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    A .308 caliber rifle and hundreds of rounds of loose ammunition have been discovered in the home of Huu Can Tran, the lone suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting in Monterey Park, California.

    Tran, 72, was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a white cargo van hours after the massacre, for which the death toll rose to 11 by Monday. All victims have been identified as of press time.

    Tran allegedly used a 9-millimeter semi-automatic MAC-10 pistol with an extended large-capacity magazine when he fired a total of 42 shots at the scene, CNN reported. Aside from the rifle and ammo, investigators searching his home found items that suggested he was building DIY firearm suppressors.

    Tran, according to his ex-wife, had a short temper. 

    Another acquaintance claimed that he was “hostile to a lot of people” at the shooting site, Star Ballroom Dance Studio, which he previously frequented.

    Police in Hemet, where Tran resided, said he visited their department twice earlier this month to complain about offenses of family members allegedly committed up to 20 years ago, including poisoning.

    “Tran visited the Hemet Police Department lobby on January 7 and 9, 2023, alleging past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago,” Hemet police said. “Tran stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but never returned.”

    Chester Chong, chair of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, said community conversations in WeChat point to a personal motive. 

    Tran was allegedly looking for a woman who had been invited to an event at the ballroom.

    He, on the other hand, was not invited, which allegedly upset him.

    “The men maybe hate that the wife goes down there and goes dancing with other men,” Chong told the Los Angeles Times. “A lot of lonely people go down there to date … other people.”

    A Monterey Park resident identified only as “Grace” described hearing a similar account on WeChat.

    Grace explained that she learned through a WeChat group that Tran was allegedly jealous that a woman he knew was invited to the dance without him.

    “So many people went to the facility every day,” Grace told the LA Times. “It [the shooting] is sad and extremely cruel.”

    Amid various claims, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna stressed Monday that a motive has not been confirmed. Tran also had a limited criminal history, with one arrest in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.

    “We do not have a motive yet. We want to know as much as all of you, and we’re working very hard to attain that,” Luna said.

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