Monterey Park, California, mass shooting near a Lunar New Year festival celebration

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The man who shot and killed 10 people at a dance studio in Southern California had once been a regular at the scene and had even met his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN.

Police say 72-year-old Huu Can Tran opened fire at the Star Ballroom Dance Studio in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park on Saturday night before shooting himself after a manhunt in the area on Sunday.

His ex-wife said in an interview that she met Tran some two decades ago at the dance studio, a popular community hangout where he taught informal classes. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced herself and offered her free lessons, she said.

The two married shortly after meeting, according to the ex-wife, who declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Although Tran was never violent towards her, she said he could get angry easily. For example, she said that if she missed a dance move, he would get mad because he thought he looked bad. She said that after several years together, she felt that he was losing interest in her. Her sister, who had also asked not to be named, confirmed her story.

It’s unclear how many times Tran has visited the dance hall in recent years, if at all.

Tran filed for divorce in late 2005, and a judge approved the divorce the following year, according to Los Angeles court records.

Tran was an immigrant from China, according to a copy of his marriage certificate his ex-wife showed to CNN.

5 minutes drive from his house: Another old acquaintance of Tran also remembered him as a frequent presence at the dance studio. The friend, who also asked not to be named, was close to Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s when he said Tran would drive about a 5-minute drive from his home in San Gabriel to the Star Ballroom Dance Studio. .” .”

At the time, Tran often complained that the dance hall instructors didn’t like him and said “bad things about him,” the friend recalled, adding that Tran was “hostile to a lot of people down there.”

More generally, Tran was irritable, 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.

Company records show that in 2002, Tran founded a company called Tran’s Trucking Inc. registered in California. But he dissolved the company about two years later, writing in a company filing that it never acquired any known assets or incurred any known debts or obligations.

Bought a mobile home in Hemet: In 2013, Tran sold his home in San Gabriel, which he had owned for more than two decades, according to property records.

Seven years later, the records show, Tran bought a mobile home in a senior community in Hemet, California, a remote suburb about 85 miles east of Los Angeles.

Tran’s boyfriend said he hadn’t seen Tran in several years and was “totally shocked” when he learned of the shooting.

“I know a lot of people, and when they go to Star Studio, they go there a lot,” the friend said, adding that he was “concerned that I might know some” of the victims.

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