The man who fatally shot 10 people in a Southern California dance studio had once been a regular at the venue, even meeting his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN.
Police say Huu Can Tran, 72, opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park on Saturday night before killing himself after a manhunt in the region on Sunday.
His ex-wife said in an interview that she met Tran about two decades ago at the dance studio, a popular community hangout where he gave informal lessons. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced himself and offered her free lessons, she said.
The two married shortly after meeting, according to the ex-wife, who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the case. While Tran was never violent towards her, he said he could get angry quickly. For example, he said, if she missed a dance step, he would get upset because he felt it made him look bad. She said that after several years together, he had the impression that he had lost interest in her. Her sister, who also asked not to be named, confirmed her version.
It was unclear how often, if at all, Tran visited the ballroom in recent years.
Tran filed for divorce in late 2005 and a judge approved the divorce the following year, Los Angeles court records show.
Tran was an immigrant from China, according to a copy of his marriage license that his ex-wife showed to CNN.
5 minutes by car from your house: Another longtime acquaintance of Tran’s also remembers him as a frequent presence in the dance studio. The friend, who also asked not to be named, was around Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s when he said Tran would make the roughly 5-minute drive from his San Gabriel home to Star Ballroom Dance Studio. “almost every night”. .”
Tran often complained at the time that the ballroom instructors didn’t like him and said “bad things about him,” the friend recalled, adding that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people there.”
More generally, Tran was easily irritated, complained a lot and didn’t seem to trust people, the friend said.
Tran sometimes worked as a truck driver, according to his ex-wife.
Business records show that Tran registered a business called Tran’s Trucking Inc. in California in 2002. But he dissolved the company about two years later, writing in a corporate document that he had never acquired any known assets or incurred any known debts or liabilities.
Purchased a mobile home in Hemet: In 2013, Tran sold his San Gabriel home, which he had owned for more than two decades, property records show.
Seven years later, records show, Tran bought a mobile home in a senior community in Hemet, California, a suburb about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.
Tran’s friend said he had not seen Tran in several years and was “totally shocked” when he found out about the shooting.
“I know a lot of people, and if they go to Star Studio, they hang out there,” the friend said, adding that he was “worried that I might know some of the shooting victims.”