On Sunday evening (Jan. 22), Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna confirmed that the suspected Monterey Park mass shooter had been identified. The individual was revealed to be 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, who was seen leaving the incident in a white van.
Authorities are still trying to determine a motive for the gunman who killed 10 people and injured 10 others at a Monterey Park dance studio, slayings that left the community in shock.
The suspect, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in a van in Torrance Sunday, the end of an hours-long manhunt for the shooter.
According to law enforcement, the suspect had no criminal history that has been found. Investigators are looking into the possibility that domestic violence may have played a part in Saturday’s mass shooting.
The next day, law enforcement officials swarmed and entered the van linked to the suspect, after surrounding it for hours before going in. A person’s body appeared to be slumped over the wheel and was later removed from the vehicle. At an evening news conference, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna confirmed the body found was that of the suspected shooter.
Authorities said Tran used that van to flee after he was prevented from attacking another dance hall in Alhambra, about 17 minutes after he opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio on West Garvey Avenue.
At the Alhambra ballroom, Tran walked in with a firearm and some individuals wrestled the firearm away, Luna said.
A surveillance image obtained by Eyewitness News shows the moment a man inside the Lai Lai Ballroom confronted the suspect and disarmed him. Tran then fled the scene.
Very little is known about Tran or his connection to the targeted community and dance halls. Public records show he once had addresses in Monterey Park and neighboring cities.
But Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said the motive remained unclear for the attack, which also wounded 10 people. Speaking at a Sunday evening news conference, Luna said all of the people killed appeared to be over 50. No other suspects were at large, according to the sheriff.
“I still have questions in my mind, which is: What was the motive for this shooter? Did he have a mental illness? Was he a domestic violence abuser? How did he get these guns and was it through legal means or not?” Congresswoman Judy Chu said.
Luna added that the suspect was carrying what he described as a semi-automatic pistol with an extended magazine, which the sheriff said he believed is illegal to have in California. A second handgun was discovered in the van where Tran was found dead.