Monterey Park, California, mass shooting during Lunar New Year celebrations
The man who fatally shot 10 people at a Southern California dance studio had once been a regular presence at the scene, even meeting his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN.
Police say Huu Can Tran, 72, opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park on Saturday night before shooting himself dead after a manhunt in the area on Sunday .
His ex-wife said in an interview that she met Tran about two decades ago at the dance studio, a popular community gathering place where he gave informal lessons. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced herself and offered her free lessons, she said.
The two got married shortly after meeting, according to the ex-wife, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Although Tran was never violent with her, she said he could get angry quickly. For example, she said, if she missed a dance move, he would get angry because he felt it made him look bad. She said that after several years together, she felt like he lost interest in her. Her sister, who also asked not to be named, confirmed her story.
It’s unclear how often Tran has visited the dance hall, if at all, in recent years.
Tran filed for divorce in late 2005 and a judge approved the divorce the following year, according to Los Angeles court records.
Tran was an immigrant from China, according to a copy of his marriage license his ex-wife showed CNN.
5 minutes by car from his home: Another longtime acquaintance of Tran also remembered him as a frequent presence at the dance studio. The friend, who also asked not to be named, was close to Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s when he said Tran would drive the approximately 5-minute drive from his home in San Gabriel at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio “almost every night.” .”
Tran often complained at the time that the dance hall instructors didn’t like him and said “bad things about him,” the friend recalled, adding that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there- low”.
More generally, Tran was easily irritated, complained a lot and didn’t seem to trust people, the friend said.
Tran sometimes worked as a truck driver, according to his ex-wife.
Business records show Tran registered a company called Tran’s Trucking Inc. in California in 2002. But he dissolved the company about two years later, writing in a company filing that it never acquired any known assets or incurred any known debts or liabilities.
Bought a mobile home in Hemet: In 2013, Tran sold his San Gabriel home, which he had owned for more than two decades, according to property records.
Seven years later, records show, Tran bought a mobile home in a senior community in Hemet, Calif., an outlying suburb about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.
Tran’s friend said he hadn’t seen Tran in several years and was “totally shocked” when he heard about the shooting.
“I know a lot of people, and if they go to Star Studio, they go there often,” the friend said, adding that he was “worried maybe I know some” of the victims.
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