Huu Can Tran: Monterey Park Shooter Was Once a Dance Teacher at the Studio Where He Killed 10 People and Also Met His Ex-Wife During a Dance Session

Tran, 72, gave dance lessons at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio nearly every night in the early 2000s when he lived nearby in the San Gabriel Valley five minutes away.

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The Monterey Park shooter was a dancer at the studio where he killed 10 people on Saturday night during Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations. Huu Can Tran, 72, who was identified as the mass shooter at a dance hall in Monterey, California, also met his ex-wife during a dance lesion decades ago before they got married.

Huu Can Tran was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head in a white van he used during the mass shooting. Reports claim that all the victims were Asian, while the shooter was of Vietnamese origin. It has also been revealed that Tran became a "regular patron" at the dance studio after he left teaching dance there.

From Dance Teacher to Killer

Huu Can Tran
Twitter

Tran, 72, gave dance lessons at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio nearly every night in the early 2000s when he lived nearby in the San Gabriel Valley five minutes away. Tran's friend, who was close to the shooter starting in the early 2010s, told CNN that he was "hostile to a lot of people" at the studio and thought they were saying "evil things about him."

This comes as the mass shooter's ex-wife also revealed that she first met Tran decades ago during a dance lesson and it didn't take long for them to get married.

Huu Can Tran
Twitter

The shooting on Saturday claimed the lives of five women and five men while injuring another 10 people. Tran died on Sunday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a standoff with the police.

According to a DailyMial.com report, Tran in addition to teaching dance almost five times a week, also ran a company called Tran's Trucking Inc. between 2002 and 2004, according to papers acquired by CNN.

It is unclear when Tran stopped giving lessons at the studio. He likely left teaching dance after he moved to Hemet in 2013 after living in Los Angeles for almost 20 years.

Around the same time, Tran's friend lost contact with the shooter and was horrified to learn of the massacre. The friend recalled Tran as being easily enraged and untrusting of others.

Tran's ex-wife, whose identity hasn't been revealed, said that she was only married to the shooter for a brief period of time before he requested a divorce in 2005.

She remembered how Tran had given her free dance lessons the first time they had met. She said that the romance faded quickly after Tran lost interest in her and would easily get irritated when she made mistakes in choreography.

Tran's immigration status was listed as being from China on their marriage license.

Dead after Killing Innocent People

Tran was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head in a white van he used during the mass shooting. Reports claim that all the victims were Asian, while the shooter was of Vietnamese origin. However, his origin hasn't yet been confirmed by the police.

Hu Can Tran
Hu Can Tran's body seen slumped over the driver's seat after he killed himself during the standoff with police Twitter

Sources told CNN that Tran used to be a "regular patron" at the dance hall. It is believed that the elderly were mostly the patrons of the dance club, as most of his victims were Asians and above 50 years of age.

Tran killed himself following a standoff with cops after he fled the scene of the massacre. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said that Tran's motive is still unclear.

Luna described what happened on Sunday when law enforcement personnel stormed and entered the vehicle after surrounding it for several hours. When they got close to the car after hearing a shot, they saw Tran's body slouched over the wheel.

Huu Can Tran
Cops seen surrounding the white van after Huu Can Tran shot himself dead, as his body is seen in the driver's seat Twitter

A police standoff came after 10 people, believed to be Asians, were shot and killed at a ballroom dancing studio late on Saturday during the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations in the primarily Asian American neighborhood of Monterey Park.

The shooter then entered the Lai Lai Ballroom in adjacent Alhambra 20 to 30 minutes later. However, the customers wrestled the weapon from him, and he fled the scene.

Authorities then started searching for the white van after witnesses claimed to have seen the suspect driving away from Alhambra in it.

Tran was previously profiled on a wanted poster by Luna's office, which showed him with spectacles, a leather jacket, a dark winter beanie with a white design, and other clothing. Luna also didn't rule out the possibility of a second suspect but provided no evidence there might be one.

Huu Can Tran van
Huu Can Tran body is seen slumped over in the driver's seat in his white van Twitter

Tran was seen at a hospital requesting medical attention shortly before the standoff, according to law enforcement sources. Tran went to the ER for treatment of wounds that were consistent with having been involved in a fight. He waited a short while before departing without receiving care.

The hospital alerted the authorities when the patient fit the suspect's description posted on the sheriff's department's Twitter page,

Around 10:20 am, police in Torrance, California, spotted a white van that matched the suspect vehicle description. They then followed the van into a parking lot of a mall and stopped the vehicle which resulted in a standoff. A few minutes later, a single gunshot could be heard coming from inside the van.

The local police officers dispersed and requested the assistance of tactical squads. Armored tanks and a bomb squad surrounded the van before noon local time, sparking a confrontation that lasted for more than an hour.

A SWAT squad unlocked the car's passenger door and subsequently its side doors just before noon local time. Photos showed a man slumped over in the driver's seat, whom investigators confirmed was the shooting suspect, according to Luna.

Police also confirmed that Tran was the only suspect in the shooting.

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