The suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting that left at least 11 people dead during Lunar New Year celebrations had a prior conviction for unlawful gun possession, California authorities said Monday.
Huu Can Tran, 72, was identified late Sunday as the man responsible for killing nearly a dozen people and wounding nine others at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California Saturday evening.
Around 20 minutes after the first attack, the gunman entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in the nearby city of Alhambra but was disarmed by an employee. Tran was later found dead in his van from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Los Angeles Sheriff Robert said investigators searched Tran’s home in Hemet – about an hour’s drive south from the crime scene – and discovered a .308-caliber rifle, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and evidence that he was manufacturing silencers.
Luna said investigators seized electronic devices such as cell phones, computers, and other evidence indicating the suspect was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors.
Investigators recovered 42 shell casings and a large capacity magazine at Star Ballroom Dance Studio and a Norinco 7.62x25mm handgun from inside the suspect’s cargo van, Luna said. The Norinco was registered to Tran, according to Luna.
The firearm wrestled away from the suspect at the Lai Lai ballroom was a 9mm caliber semi-automatic MAC-10 weapon, Luna said, indicating that the weapon had been modified without offering additional details.
Luna said Tran has a “limited criminal history,” with an arrest in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Luna’s update in the case came hours after the confirmation that an 11th victim had succumbed to injuries sustained in the mass shooting.
As of Monday, authorities have identified four of the 11 victims: My Nhan, 65, Lillian Li, 63, Xiujuan Yu, 57, and Valentino Alvero, 68. All the remaining victims were above the age of 60.
It remains unclear if the gunman knew or was related to any of the victims. Investigators are still trying to figure out a possible motive.