MONTEREY PARK, Calif. (AP) — Investigators searching for a motive Monday in the worst mass shooting in Los Angeles County history said the gunman was previously arrested for illegally possessing a firearm, had a rifle at home, hundreds of rounds of ammunition and appeared to be manufacturing gun silencers.
Los Angeles Sheriff Robert Luna said investigators had not yet established why 72-year-old Huu Can Tran gunned down patrons Saturday night at a ballroom dance hall in Monterey Park, where tens of thousands attended Lunar New Year festivities earlier that evening. Tran later killed himself as police closed in on him.
“What drove a mad man to do this? We don’t know, but we intend to find out,” Luna said.
A man who said he had been a longtime friend of Tran told The Associated Press that the gunman once frequented the dance hall and another that he also targeted and griped about the way he thought people treated him there.
Tran fired 42 rounds at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, killing 11 people and wounding nine. He then drove to another nearby dance hall where an employee wrestled a modified 9 mm submachine gun-style semi-automatic weapon away from him, Luna said.
Gov. Gavin Newsom met Monday with Brandon Tsay, who works part-time at the dance club founded by his grandparents, and said he was a true hero.
“This remarkable young man who without any hesitation — though with moments of fear — took it upon himself to save countless lives,” Newsom said. “Who knows how many lives he saved.”
Tsay said he was proud of his actions but did not want to discuss them so the focus would stay on the victims.
“Some of these people I know personally,” Tsay said outside his family’s home. They come to our studio. It’s a tight knit community and I hope they can heal from this tragic event”
Tran fatally shot himself Sunday as officers surrounded the van he was inside. A handgun was recovered from the van, which matched descriptions of the vehicle he used to get away from the dance studio.
Sheriff’s deputies from Los Angeles County searched Tran’s home in a gated senior community in the town of Hemet, a little over an hour’s drive from the site of the massacre.
Luna said his officers found a .308-caliber rifle, an unknown amount of bullets and evidence he was making homemade firearm suppressors that muffle the sound of the weapons.
Tran had visited Hemet police twice this month to report he was the victim of fraud, theft and poisoning by family…