All around the world, people celebrated the Chinese New Year over the weekend. However, what should have been a special Saturday night at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in Monterey Park, California, turned tragic. At 10:22 pm, a man opened fire, killing ten people and wounding an additional 10.
The suspect, identified as 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, later took his own life via a self-inflicted gunshot wound Sunday in a white van in nearby Torrance after a police standoff. Here is what we know about the horrific event and six chilling facts about the killer and the crime.
The Suspect Had Once Been a Regular at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio, Ex-Wife Claims
According to his ex-wife and a longtime acquaintance, Tran had once been a regular patron at Star Ballroom Dance Studio. Tran's former wife, who opted to remain unnamed, told CNN that she met Tran about two decades ago at Star Ballroom, where he gave informal lessons. After seeing her at a dance, Tran offered her free lessons and the two married shortly after that.
The Suspect Complained That Staff Said "Evil Things About Him," Source Claims
Another old acquaintance, also who wished to remain anonymous, told CNN that Tran frequently visited the studio "almost every night" up to the early 2010s. However, he complained that instructors at the dance hall didn't like him and said "evil things about him." The friend added that Tran was "hostile to a lot of people there."
However, the friend, who hadn't seen him in several years, was "totally shocked" when he heard about the shooting. "I know lots of people, and if they go to Star studio, they frequent there," he said, adding he was "worried maybe I know some of" the shooting victims. It is unknown whether Tran visited the dance hall in recent years.
Tran Was "Quick to Anger," Ex Wife Claims
Tran's ex-wife told CNN that while her former husband was never violent to her, he could be quick to anger. She said that if she missed a step dancing, he would become upset because he felt it made him look bad. The couple filed for divorce in late 2005, and according to court records, a judge approved the divorce the following year.
He Was Reportedly Planning Another Attack
According to reports, it is likely that Tran was planning another attack. Just 30 minutes after the mass killing, he showed up at the Lai Lai Ballroom in the city of Alhambra with a semi-automatic weapon traced to him. "He was looking at me and looking around, not hiding that he was trying to do harm. His eyes were menacing," Brandon Tsay, 26, told The New York Times.
"How it was built and customized, I knew it wasn't for robbing money," he said about the gun. "From his body language, his facial expression, his eyes, he was looking for people." Tsay wrestled Tran for the gun, and according to authorities, likely thwarted another attack.
He May Have Sought Treatment at a Hospital
After he visited the Lai Lai Ballroom, authorities believe that Tran may have sought medical treatment. Police told CNN they got a tip from an area hospital where a man fitting the description of the suspect came into the emergency room, seeking treatment for injuries consistent with having been in a fight.
After waiting for a period of time, he left without receiving treatment. Shortly after, police approached him in his van.
There Is No Known Motive at This Time
Currently, there is no known motive for the crime. Authorities maintain it is unclear if Tran was targeting individuals or firing indiscriminately when he began shooting.