MONTEREY PARK, Calif. – Investigators looking for a motive Monday in the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles County history said the gunman had previously been arrested for illegal possession of a firearm, had a rifle at home, hundreds of shots of ammunition and appeared to make silencers for weapons.
Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna said investigators had not yet established why 72-year-old Huu Can Tran killed patrons Saturday night at a dance hall he allegedly frequented in Monterey Park, where tens of thousands of people had attended the Lunar New Year celebrations earlier. evening.
“What drove a madman to do this? We don’t know, but we intend to find out,” said Luna.
Tran fired 42 shots at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, killing 11 and wounding nine. He then went to another nearby dance hall where Brandon Tsay, who works at the establishment his grandparents founded, snatched a semi-automatic weapon resembling a modified 9mm machine gun from him, Luna said.
Governor Gavin Newsom, who visited Tsay and his family on Monday, was among those hailing him as a hero. The governor said hero can be an overused term that often loses its gravitas, but he directed anyone who doubts Tsay’s bravery to film surveillance of him fighting with Tran.
“This extraordinary young man who without any hesitation, even if with moments of fear, took it upon himself to save countless lives,” Newsom said. “He Who knows how many lives he saved.”
Tran fatally shot himself Sunday as officers surrounded the van he was in. A handgun was recovered from the van, which matched descriptions of the vehicle he used to get away from the dance studio.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies searched Tran’s home in a gated senior community in the city of Hemet, just over an hour’s drive from the site of the massacre, a police spokeswoman told the Associated Press. by Hemet Alan Reyes.
Luna said his officers found a .308-caliber rifle, an unknown quantity of bullets and evidence that he was making homemade gun suppressors that muffle the sound of the guns.