Monterey Park shooter prepared getaway; MAC-10 gun unregistered, sheriff says

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The gunman who shot and killed 11 people in a ballroom in Monterey Park, Calif., left a motorcycle a block from the scene the day of the shooting — suggesting a preplanned element — but did not know any of the victims as far as authorities can tell, Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said.

Luna said at a news conference Wednesday evening that authorities have not been able to establish a connection between the gunman, Huu Can Tran, and any of the victims. He added that Tran was not romantically involved with any of the victims and was not married at the time of the shooting. There was speculation among local officials and in the media that Tran, in a fit of jealousy, was targeting his wife.

Years ago, Tran had been a regular at Star Ballroom Dance Studio, one of the dance halls popular with the immigrant community in Monterey Park, but he was later alienated from Star and another dance studio, The Washington Post has reported. Luna said authorities believe he had not been to Star in the past five years, based on witness statements.

Such revelations have left authorities seemingly with more questions than answers as pressure mounts to find a motive. “It doesn’t make sense,” Luna said of the shooting and the unclear circumstances surrounding it. “It really doesn’t.”

Luna said the motorcycle was left one block from the dance studio sometime on Saturday. He added that authorities did not know how long Tran had been planning the attack.

Luna also shared more details about the weapon used in the shooting, a Cobray MAC-10 that he said Tran purchased in Monterey Park in 1999. He did not answer a question from a reporter about whether the gun was purchased through a private-party sale, though he noted that the firearm was not registered in California.

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