LOS ANGELES, California — The suspect who allegedly shot and wounded two Jews near synagogues in L.A. last week was out on bail for charges related to possessing a loaded gun on a public university campus last year.
Jaime Tran, 28, was arrested last week in connection with the shootings, which are being investigated as hate crimes. According to local police, the former dental student, who is now apparently homeless, had a history of making antisemitic statements.
Moreover, he had previously been arrested for a gun-related crime — but was out on bail. The Los Angeles Times reported (emphasis added):
The arrest Thursday evening of a suspect confirmed fears that the attacks were targeted. Jaime Tran — who authorities say has a history of making antisemitic statements, often specifically about Persian Jews — was taken into custody in connection with the shootings.
Tran, 28, was charged Friday with federal hate crimes. He admitted to police that he searched for a kosher market on Yelp before the shootings, according to a complaint unsealed in federal court in Los Angeles. If convicted, he faces life without parole in federal prison, prosecutors said.
He was caught July 3 carrying a loaded handgun onto the Cal State Long Beach campus, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office. Police got a call about a man with a gun near the engineering school and approached him. Tran surrendered and told officers he was carrying the weapon for protection, according to prosecutors. That case, for which he was out on bail, remains open.
The Orange County Register added details of the 2022 arrest:
In a letter sent to Cal State Long Beach students on Friday, Scott Apel, the university’s vice president for administration and finance, said Tran was arrested on July 3 after university police got a call about a man sitting on a campus bench who may have a firearm.
Officers responded and found Tran with a gun they later learned had been reported stolen, Apel wrote. Tran, a CSULB alumnus, was arrested without incident.
Court records show he was charged with possessing a loaded firearm on a school campus. That case is still pending, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records. His next court date had been scheduled for Feb. 28.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón has been criticized for letting alleged criminals out on bail, where they proceed to commit further crimes — in this case, the attempted murder of two Jews.
Police stepped up patrols in the Pico-Robertson area, the heavily Jewish neighborhood where the shootings took place. Rising crime was a major concern for voters in the area in the recent L.A. mayoral election, which was won by Karen Bass (D). Her opponent, developer Rick Caruso, campaigned heavily in Pico-Robertson.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.