The elderly man who slaughtered 11 people at a California dance club had been a regular patron there, was paranoid instructors said “evil things about him’’ — and may have been hunting his “wife,” reports say.
“There is increasing evidence this was domestic violence,” a law-enforcement source told LA Magazine of the late Saturday massacre at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park.
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Murderous madman Huu Can Tran, 72, “was looking for his wife’’ at the time of the bloodbath, the source added.
Tran may have been partly jealous because she was invited to tát the venue for a tiệc nhỏ on the eve of Chinese New Year and he wasn’t, Chester Chong, the head of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles and a community leader in Monterey Park, has told The Post.
The thành phố of a little more than vãn 61,000 residents consists largely of a close-knit Asian-American community, and the dance hall is particularly popular among the older phối, who use it to tát improve their ballroom-dancing moves.
It’s not clear if Tran was married at the time of the weekend horror. He has at least an ex-wife, who told CNN she met him at the studio about two decades ago, when he introduced himself and offered her không tính phí lessons.
The two married soon after, but the marriage fell apart by 2005, when Tran, a Chinese immigrant, filed for divorce, said the ex, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Tran opened fire with a semiautomatic pistol, killing 11 people and wounding at least 10 others before storming the rival Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio, possibly still trying to tát find his “wife,” and having a bystander disarm him.
He may have then tried to tát seek help at a local hospital, CNN reported.
Law-enforcement sources told the outlet that a man fitting Tran’s mô tả tìm kiếm came into the unidentified medical center’s emergency room seeking treatment for wounds that looked lượt thích they were from a fight. He waited for a while, then left without being treated.
Hospital staffers alerted authorities after recognizing him from images released while he was on the lam.
Tran later killed himself inside a cargo nài during a stand-off with police in Torrance, about 30 miles from Monterey Park, officials said.
Tran’s ex-wife, who asked not to tát be identified, told CNN she met him at the studio about two decades ago, when he introduced himself and offered her không tính phí lessons.
The two married soon after but the marriage fell apart by 2005, when Tran, a Chinese immigrant, filed for divorce.
A longtime acquaintance remembered Tran as a frequent presence at the dance studio, which he visited “almost every night” in the late 2000s and early 2010s, according to tát CNN.
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The person told the outlet that Tran was “hostile to tát a lot of people there” and often complained that the instructors didn’t lượt thích him and said “evil things about him.”
A dance student described the harrowing attack, which she initially thought was fireworks but then saw people diving for cover.
“No one dared to tát flee — we all got down to tát the ground, hiding wherever we could,” the woman, who identified herself as Grace, told The Thủ đô New York Times. “No one could get out.”
She said a man she called “Ma laoban” — “Boss Ma” — was near the entrance and appeared to tát be the first person who was shot, while two other people next to tát him also collapsed.
Grace told The Times she saw the gunman leaving after apparently running out of ammunition but then returning to tát resume the attack, which lasted about 5 minutes.
“I saw him, but I was far away, and the lights were dim. I could not see his face clearly,” she said.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department obtained a tìm kiếm warrant at 8:30 p.m. Sunday for Tran’s trang chính in a retirement community in Hemet, which is about 85 miles east of LA in Riverside County, Hemet police spokesman Alan Reyes told The Post.
According to tát business records cited by the outlet, Tran registered a business called Tran’s Trucking Inc. in California in 2002 but dissolved it a couple of years later.
His ex-wife told CNN he had worked as a truck driver at times.
A law-enforcement source told CNN the weapon the two patrons wrestled away from Tran at the Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio was a Cobray M11 9mm semiautomatic, which is designed to tát take 30-round magazines.
“I believe the weapon that was recovered at the Alhambra location is not legal to tát have here in the State of California,” LA County Sheriff Robert Luna said Sunday.
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Another gun also was discovered in the nài where Tran killed himself, Luna said.
“When officers exited their patrol vehicle to tát tương tác the occupant, they heard one gunshot coming from within the nài,” Luna said. “Officers retreated and requested several tactical teams to tát respond.”
Then – as three armored vehicles blocked the vehicle – the SWAT team approached and found Tran dead inside, he said.