Suspect and Some Victims of the Monterey Park Shooting Identified



After the tragic mass shooting at Monterey Park occurred on the evening of January 21, many are praying for the victims who have lost their lives.

Kylie de Best, Editor-in-Chief

After searching for the suspect responsible for the mass shooting during the Lunar New Year’s Eve celebration in Monterey Park, the suspect’s name has finally been identified and released. The suspect is 72-year-old man Huu Can Tran, who was found dead in his vehicle as a result of shooting himself Sunday during a standoff in the Tokyo Central parking lot in Torrance, California (CNN). 


After searching his van, authorities found a handgun in addition to other pieces of evidence to connect the suspect to the shootings. Since the suspect is now dead, it has now become more difficult to determine a motive for this tragic shooting, so a search warrant had been issued at the Lakes at Hemet West, a senior community where the suspect lived (CNN). Here, evidence suggests that he was manufacturing homemade firearm suppressors, and they also found a 308-caliber rifle and electronic devices such as cell phones and computers, in addition to hundreds of rounds of ammunition. This makes sense, as Tran has a long history of firearms, and was arrested in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.  


According to community members of Monterey Park, Tran used to go to the Monterey Park dance hall, and he would give informal dance lessons, and he also met his ex-wife in this area (CNN). Someone who was close to Tran in the late 2000s and early 2010s said Tran would “go to the dance studio “almost every night” from his then home in nearby San Gabriel” (CNN). Tran would often complain about the negative comments he claimed the instructors said about him, but he was also noted to be hostile to the people there and didn’t have trust in people. As a result of this, it is likely that this was a targeted shooting (CNN).

My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Their world is forever shattered, but I hope and pray that they will be able to persevere and continue forward.

— Zechariah Cheng (12)

Tran had visited the Hemet Police Department on January 7 and 9 of 2023, claiming “alleging past fraud, theft, and poisoning allegations involving his family in the Los Angeles area 10 to 20 years ago. Tran stated he would return to the station with documentation regarding his allegations but never returned” (CNN). 


During the night of the shooting, Tran went into two different dance studios, and hero Brandon Tsay was able to grab the weapon from the man when he entered the second dance studio and stop him before he began shooting more people. After he lunged at Tran and struggled with him for about 40 seconds, Brandon Tsay was pronounced a hero, and got the shooter to leave. The weapon, which was later recovered from where the gunmen fled, was a magazine assault pistol with an extended large capacity magazine attached to it (CNN). Megan Chou (12) is proud of the bravery this man showed, and shared “Brandon Tsay’s heroic actions will be remembered by everyone. Though he was putting his life at risk, he knew something had to be done, or else many others would have been killed.” 


Four of the eleven killed victims have been identified so far, including Xiujuan Yu, a 57-year-old woman, Valentino Alvero, a 68-year-old man, Mymy Nhan, a 65-year-old woman, and Lilan Li, a 63 year-old-woman. To honor those killed over the weekend, the city of Monterey Park will host a vigil on Tuesday, January 25. Zechariah Cheng (12) shares his condolences for those who were affected, saying “My heart goes out to the families of the victims. Their world is forever shattered, but I hope and pray that they will be able to persevere and continue forward.”