Attention turns to motive in Monterey Park mass shooting

Correction: Saturday night’s mass shooting occurred in Monterey Park, Calif. An earlier headline on this story included incorrect information.

As authorities seek to determine the motive behind a mass shooting in Monterey Park, Calif., on Saturday night, details are emerging of the 72-year-old suspect’s ties to the dance studio where he allegedly killed 11 people, and his fraught mental health history.

Police identified the suspect as Huu Can Tran, who had reportedly frequented the dance studio where he attacked victims who were in their 50s or older, following a Lunar New Year festival a few blocks away. 

A friend of Tran told CNN that the 72-year-old had regularly visited the Star Dance Studio in Monterey Park but had complained that the instructors there didn’t like him — and that Tran had been noticeably hostile to others at the studio. 

Other reports have circulated that Tran may have had a history of domestic violence. Monterey Park Mayor Henry Lo told NBC News that Tran’s ex-wife may have been an intended target. 

The Los Angeles Times cited law enforcement sources saying that jealousy over a relationship may be the motive, and that Tran was experiencing “unspecified emotional problems” that got worse in the weeks before the incident.

Authorities have not ruled out a hate crime or domestic violence in the incident.

After the shooting, Tran went to a second dancehall with the “intent to kill more people”, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna. Tran fled after at least one civilian tackled and disarmed him at the Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio, in neighboring Alhambra, Calif.

Police then found the Asian male suspect dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a white van tracked down by police in nearby Torrance, Calif., the next day.  

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has executed a search warrant on Tran’s residence in Hemet, Calif., according to a Monday release from the Hemet Police Department.

The Hemet police said Tran made two visits to their lobby on Jan. 7 and 9, “alleging past fraud, theft and poisoning allegations involving his family” decades ago in the LA area.

Tags Alhambra California Henry Lo mass shooting monterey park Robert Luna Torrance

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