Monterey Park, California mass shooting during Lunar New Year celebrations

The man who killed 10 people at a Southern California dance studio was once a regular presence at the venue, even though he met his ex-wife there, three people who knew him told CNN.

Police said 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 across the region on Sunday.

His ex-husband said in an interview that he met Tran about two decades ago at the dance studio, a popular community gathering place where he gave informal lessons. Tran saw her at a dance, introduced herself, and offered her free lessons, she said.

The two married after they met, according to the ex-husband, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the case. Although Tran had never been violent towards her, she said he was quick to anger. For example, he said, if he couldn’t dance a step, he would get angry because he felt he looked down on him. She said that after a few years together, she got the impression that he had lost interest in her. Her sister, who also asked not to be named, confirmed her account.

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It’s unclear how often Tran has visited the dance hall, if at all, 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 is an immigrant from China, according to a copy of her marriage license that her ex-husband showed to CNN.

5 minutes drive from his home: Another longtime acquaintance of Tran’s also remembered her 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 she said Tran would make the nearly 5-minute drive from her home in San Gabriel to Star Ballroom Dance Studio “almost every night. .”

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

In general, Tran was irritable, complained a lot, and seemed to distrust people, the friend said.

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Tran once worked as a truck driver, according to his ex-husband.

Business records show that Tran registered a business called Tran’s Trucking Inc. in California in 2002. But he dissolved the company two years later, writing in a corporate filing that it had never acquired any known assets or incurred any known debts or liabilities.

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

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

Tran’s friend said she hadn’t seen Tran in years and was “absolutely shocked” when she heard about the shooting.

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

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