The gunman who killed 11 people at a Monterey Park ballroom studio before opening fire at a nearby dance hall was banned from both clubs, member have revealed.
Dancers said Huu Can Tran, 72, was expelled from the Star Ballroom Studio and Lai Lai club about five years ago for pestering women and being too ‘argumentative’.
Tran shot 42 rounds into the ballroom on Saturday night in a Lunar New Year massacre in California, before driving to the nearby club where he was disarmed.
Police on Thursday also revealed the weapon he used in the mass shooting was a Cobray model CM11-9 while a .308 caliber bolt action rifle was found at his home.
Montery Park gunman Huu Can Tran, pictured, was banned from the Star Ballroom Dance Studio where he killed 11 people and the nearby Lai Lai club where he was disarmed
Local dancer Pinki Chen (Pictured, right, with victim Ming Ma) claims the Monterey Park gunman had not visited the clubs in five to eight years
Previous reports suggested Tran – who shot himself at the wheel of his vehicle the day after the massacre – was a regular at the Star Ballroom in Monterey Park, California.
Police on Thursday said he was not known to his victims as he had not been to the studio for at least five years.
Members of the tight-knight dance community told Dailymail.com on Thursday his absence was even longer as he had not been seen for almost eight years.
Dancer Pinki Chen claimed Tran was banned from both of the clubs where he would later open fire after irritating dancers and teachers.
‘When he would come to the dance halls, he would offer free lessons, but would tell the woman that in exchange she could only dance with him,’ Chen told DailyMail.com
‘Many of the dancers and teachers complained that he was argumentative and ultimately Tran was no longer allowed back to either Star Dance Studio or Lai Lai.’
The 11 victims of the horrific Monterey Park mass shooting that occurred amid Lunar New Year celebrations are identified as: My Nhan, 65, Lilian Li, 63, Xiujuan Yu, 57, Muoi Ung, 67, Hong Jian, 62, Diana Tom, 70, Yu Kao, 72, Chia Yau, 76, Valentino Alvero, 68, Wen Yu, 64, and Ming Ma, 72,
Detectives recovered three firearms from Tran, including a Cobray model CM11-9, pictured, purchased in 1999 identified as the murder weapon
A Hemet is a Savage Arms .308 caliber bolt action rifle was found in Tran’s residence
After being banned from the two dance studios, Tran reportedly spent his time at the Pavilion Club House in neighboring Granada Hills which closed its doors in 2018.
Meanwhile another dancer, Mr Chu, said he used to see the murderer every Friday night between 2016 and 2017.
In a We Chat group dedicated to the dance community, Chu wrote: ‘He talked to many dancing friends about his unfortunate life, divorce and not having a place to live.
‘So, it could be imaged that he was very depressed.
‘His biggest pride and joy were dancing, but it was taken away.
The massacre in the Star Ballroom was the nation’s fifth mass killing this month and the deadliest attack since May 24, when 21 people were killed in an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas.
The Lai Lai Ballroom and Studio near the site of a deadly shooting on Saturday
‘In a lonely New Year Eve, he chose to bring the guns to destroy everything. For him, this is the end.’
Tran is reported to have met his ex-wife at the Star Ballroom after he offered her free dance lessons.
The pair were married for only a short period of time before he filed for divorce in 2005.
Tran had been living at the Lakes at Hemet West, a mobile home park billed as a ’55+ active living community’, according to reports in the Los Angeles Times.
It comes after officers revealed there was no known connection between Tran and his victims.
Tran shot dead 11 people, aged between 57 and 76, but wounded a further nine.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna said in a statement on Thursday: ‘As of today, based on interviews, investigators have not been able to establish a connection between the suspect and any of the victims.
Tran’s white cargo van was pulled over by police on Sunday but he shot himself dead before a SWAT team stormed the vehicle
‘The suspect was not married and was not romantically tied to any of the victims. According to witness accounts, the suspect has not frequented the location in the last five years.’
‘It’s frustrating when something like this happens that is so tragic. We are trying to understand it, and it doesn’t make sense.’
Investigators also recovered a total of three firearms registered to the suspect along with a motorcycle which they believe may have been an alternative getaway vehicle.
The vehicle had been strategically placed on the 200 block of South Garfield Avenue in Monterey Park.
The murder weapon was identified as a Cobray model CM11-9 (also known as Mac-10), police said.
The weapon was not registered in the state of California and was purchased in 1999 in the city of Monterey Park.
Meanwhile the weapon used by Tran to commit suicide was identified as a Norinco 7.62 X 25mm pistol.
The rifle recovered from the suspect’s residence in Hemet is a Savage Arms .308 caliber bolt action rifle.’
The suspect had no recent criminal history but records show that he was arrested 33 years ago in 1990 for unlawful possession of a firearm.
Just weeks before the massacre he went to the police to report decades-old poisoning allegations against his family.
The shootings during Lunar New Year celebrations sent a wave of fear through Asian American communities
Members of the local community have left flowers at a memorial outside the Star Ballroom dance studio
Hemet Police confirmed he had been to its station and promised to return with more evidence of his claims but failed to do so.
Among those to be killed in the crossfire was Ming Wei Ma, 72.
Reports have labelled Ma the owner of the studio but Chen claimed Ma was no longer the owner but rather a long-term manager of the studio.
She said: ‘My friend Mr. Ma was a man of honor and so kind and friendly to everyone.
‘The kids referred to him as Grandpa Ma. Everyone in the dance community loved him so much, also those who were not dancers.’
Ma leaves behind two children Ray and Mary.
Tributes have also poured in for the other victims who include: My Nhan, 65, Lilian Li, 63, Xiujuan Yu, 57, Muoi Ung, 67, Hong Jian, 62, Diana Tom, 70, Yu Kao, 72, Chia Yau, 76, Valentino Alvero, 68 and Wen Yu, 64.
Anybody with information about a motive in the case are being urged to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.