In the wake of the worst massacre in Los Angeles County history, the California governor was meeting gunshot victims in the hospital when he was pulled away and briefed on a mass shooting at the other end of the state.
Word that a gunman had killed seven people at mushroom farms in a scenic coastal stretch of Northern California came just hours after Gov. Gavin Newsom spoke of his fatigue and frustration with mass shootings.
“I can’t keep doing them,” he told reporters earlier Monday in Monterey Park, where 11 people were killed at a dance studio. “Saying the same thing over and over and over again, it’s insane.”
Tran once frequented the ballroom and another dance hall he later targeted and griped about the way he thought people treated him there, a man who identified himself as a longtime friend told The Associated Press.
Tran was perpetually distrustful and paranoid and would regularly complain that people at the clubs didn’t like him, according to the former friend who requested anonymity to speak about Tran because he wanted to avoid the media spotlight.
Investigators were also looking into reports Tran made twice this month to police in the town where he lived that family members tried to poison him, defrauded him and stole from him a decade or two ago in the LA area, Hemet police spokesperson Alan Reyes told The Associated Press. Tran never returned with documentation he promised to provide.
Sheriff’s deputies from Los Angeles County on Monday searched Tran’s home in a gated senior community in Hemet, a little over an hour’s drive from the site of the massacre. Officers found a .308-caliber rifle, an unknown number of bullets and evidence he was making homemade firearm suppressors that muffle the sound of the weapons.
Newsom said he purposely avoided news conferences in Los Angeles to meet with residents of the community, people wounded by gunfire and the hero, Brandon Tsay, who disarmed Tran.
While he was in Monterey Park, a teary-eyed mother rolled up in her car and asked him to reassure her three daughters that everything was going to be OK. Her 8-year-old had heard the gunfire and knew it wasn’t firecrackers. She hadn’t slept at night and was afraid to go to school, the mother said.
Newsom told the girl, “It’s gonna get better.”
But in front of a group of dozens of politicians, law enforcement officers and reporters assembled in Half Moon Bay, he said he was relieved she didn’t make him lock pinky fingers and promise like his own 8-year-old daughter would. “Because I wasn’t so sure.”
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