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The Monterey Park mass killer was building homemade silencers for guns and had stockpiled ammunition, police have revealed.
The suspect, who died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, is accused of killing 11 people and injuring nine others in Monterey Park, California.
On Sunday evening, law enforcement on the local and federal level executed a search warrant at the mobile home of Huu Can Tran at a gated community in Hemet, about 85 miles (137km) southeast of Monterey Park, according to KTLA5.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said during a press briefing on Monday that officials found a .308 caliber rifle, “numerous electronic devices” such as mobile phones and computers, things that appearaed to show that he was making homemade suppressors for guns, as well as .308 and 9mm caliber ammunition.
“The (munitions) were in containers and there were hundreds of rounds. We don’t know exactly how much,” the sheriff said.
Law enforcement officials said the 72-year-old entered the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park on Saturday evening and started firing using a 9mm caliber semiautomatic MAC-10 assault weapon.
Ten people died in the dance hall and another person died in a hospital on Monday.
The suspect then visited another dance hall in Alhambra, but was disarmed by a member of staff. The suspect then fled the area in a white van. Police say that he died by suicide on Sunday morning when law enforcement encircled the van in Torrance.
Hemet Police police said on Monday that Tran visited their offices twice earlier this month, making odd claims regarding his family.
“Tran visited the Hemet Police Department lobby on January 7 and 9, 2023, alleging past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago,” law enforcement said. “Tran stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but never returned.”
A neighbour of the suspect, Pat Roth, said he had lived in the community for about a year.
“Tran was just a nice guy. I would see him riding his little, small motorcycle in and out, once in a while in his van,” the neighbour told Inland News. “He would stop to pet your dog, and everybody around here just thought he was just some quiet, little guy. The people I’ve talked to are just stunned that he was involved in this.”
Leaders in the affected community have suggested that jealousy could have served as a motive.
The chairman of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles, Chester Chong, told NewsNationthat a theory among members of the Asian community was that Tran was irate after a love interest was invited to an event celebrating the Lunar New year while he wasn’t.
“The husband not going and then the big festival and (Lunar) New Year…he feels alone…sad… upset and very jealous that they take a gun and shoot people,” Mr Chong told the outlet.
But Chief Luna noted that this is “second and third-hand information”.
“It seems like a lot of people definitely have opinions. Everybody has a perspective, but what we’re finding out is, it’s not supported by facts or evidence,” he added.
The suspect’s previous wife told CNN that he had been a regular at the Star Ballroom where they initially met years ago. They divorced in 2005 and it remains unclear how often he visited the dance hall more recently.
Monterey Park mass killer may have been building homemade silencers for guns as police find ammo in search
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