(CNN) — The 72-year-old man suspected of killing 10 people and wounding 10 others in Saturday’s shooting at a dance studio in Monterey Park, California, had previously visited the institution, sources told CNN.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Moon said police surrounded a white pickup truck in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park, after the suspect, identified as Hu Can Tran, turned himself in on Sunday. He was declared dead after being shot.
The shooting at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio occurred around 10:22 p.m. as the city’s large Asian-American community was celebrating the Lunar New Year weekend. Between 17 and 20 minutes later, a gunman appeared at a second dance studio in nearby Alhambra, where authorities say a group of people seized a gun from him.
The mass shooting set off an area-wide manhunt that linked the Alhambra incident with a description of a white van belonging to area law enforcement agencies. On Sunday morning, agents in Torrance spotted a white pickup truck matching the description.
Luna said, “When the officers got out of their patrol car, spoke to the occupant, they heard shots fired from inside the truck.” “Agents retreated and requested multiple tactical teams to respond.” Then, when three armored vehicles stopped the truck, the SWAT team went up and found Tran dead inside, Luna said.
Since it is still unclear what led to the shooting and a search warrant has been issued for Tran’s home, the sheriff said it is too early to say whether this may have been a hate crime and that investigators are still determining whether Working to ascertain whether any of the victims knew the attackers.
This is what we know about the suspect.
suspect was a regular customer of the ballroom
Tran was a regular attendee at the Star Ballroom Dance studio, his ex-wife and a longtime acquaintance told CNN.
Tran’s ex-wife, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case, said she met Tran about two decades ago at the Star Ballroom, a popular community hangout where he gave informal lessons. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced himself and offered her free lessons, she said. The two soon got married, he said.
While Tran was never violent towards her, she said he could be quick-tempered. For example, he said, if he got a dance step wrong, he would get upset because he thought it made him look bad. Tran filed for divorce in late 2005 and a judge approved the divorce the following year, Los Angeles court records show.
Tran was an immigrant from China, according to a copy of his marriage license shown to CNN by his ex-wife.
It was not clear how often Tran visited the ballroom in recent years.
Another longtime acquaintance of Trance’s also remembered him as a frequent presence in the dance studio. The friend, who asked not to be named, was around Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s, when he said Tran made the five-minute drive from her San Gabriel home to Star Ballroom Dance Studio, “almost every night”.
After that, Tran often complained that the ballroom instructors didn’t like her and said “bad things about her”, with the friend recalling that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there.”
The friend said that he had not seen Tran in several years and was “in complete shock” when he found out about the shooting.
“I know a lot of people, and if they go to Star Studios, they do it often,” he said, adding that he was “worried that I might have met some of the shooting victims”.
Sheriff says investigators still reviewing Tran’s story
Luna told reporters on Sunday that investigators are still reviewing Tran’s mental health and criminal history and are processing the search warrant.
According to Hemet Police Public Information Agent Alan Reyes, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department obtained a search warrant for Tran’s home at a nursing home in Hemet, California.
Records show Tran bought a mobile home in the community, a suburb in neighboring Riverside County about 80 miles east of Los Angeles.
Seven years before buying the Hemet home, Tran sold a San Gabriel residence in 2013 that she had owned for more than two decades, property records show.
Business records also show that Tran registered a business called Tran Trucking Inc. in California in 2002. But after about two years he dissolved the business, writing in a corporate document that the company never acquired any known assets or had any known debts or was inactive. ,
Tran had worked as a trucker at various times, his ex-wife said.
Weapons found by officers
Authorities are still working to determine how the weapon allegedly used in the shooting was obtained.
The sheriff said Sunday that the weapon recovered from the Alhambra location was a magazine-loaded, semi-automatic assault pistol fitted with a high-capacity extended magazine.
A law enforcement official with knowledge of the matter told CNN it was a 9mm Cobray M11 semi-automatic, which is designed to take a 30-round magazine that allows rapid firing without frequent magazine changes .
In response to a reporter’s question, Luna said: “I think it is not legal in the state of California to possess the gun that was recovered from the Alhambra site.”
According to the law enforcement official, the gun was returned to the suspect, giving officers his name and description.
The sheriff said a handgun was found in the van with the suspect.
CNN’s John Miller and Rebekah Rees contributed to this report.