Man arrested in Cathedral City for shootings of Jews in Los Angeles pleads not guilty – KESQ

A 28-year-old man arrested in Cathedral City for allegedly shooting two Jewish men after they left synagogues in the Pico-Robertson District less than 24 hours apart pleaded not guilty in Los Angeles today to federal hate crime charges. and firearms.

Jaime Tran, formerly of Riverside, will remain in federal custody with a trial date of April 11, according to a trial judge in federal court.

Tran faces two counts of hate crimes for allegedly willfully causing bodily harm and attempting to kill his victims and two counts of discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence.

If convicted, Tran would face life in prison for each hate crime charge, and 10 years to life in prison for each firearms charge, prosecutors said.

Read: Local Jewish community reacts to alleged shooter of two Los Angeles Jewish men arrested in valley

According to his indictment, Tran developed and espoused anti-Semitic beliefs and made violent threats against the Jewish people. For example, in 2018, he dropped out of dental school after making hateful statements about other students whom he perceived to be Jewish, according to the indictment.

From August to December, Tran’s anti-Semitic statements intensified and he used increasingly violent language, including against a former classmate whom he repeatedly called and texted with messages such as “I want you dead, Jew. Someone’s gonna get you.” to kill, Jew” and “Burn in a furnace chamber,” the prosecution alleges.

In November, Tran allegedly emailed two dozen former classmates a flyer containing anti-Semitic propaganda, including a statement blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on a Jewish conspiracy.

Tran allegedly purchased at least two firearms before the attacks and conducted Internet searches for “kosher markets” to learn of areas where Jews congregate.

At approximately 9:45 a.m. on February 15, Tran allegedly drove to the Pico-Robertson neighborhood of Los Angeles, located a man who was wearing a black jacket and skullcap and had just left church services at a synagogue. Tran allegedly shot him in the back at close range, intending to kill him. Although injured, the man survived.

The next morning, Tran returned to the Pico-Robertson area with the intent to kill another Jew, according to the indictment. At approximately 8 am, he allegedly approached another man wearing a dark colored jacket and yarmulke. Tran allegedly shot and wounded that victim, who also survived the attack.

In an interview recorded on Mirandized, Tran admitted to intentionally shooting the two victims, according to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint and arrest warrant.

After the shootings, according to a description of the suspect’s vehicle, Tran was tracked to Riverside County. He was arrested when Cathedral City police responded to a report of a man who had discharged a gun and was carrying a gun near his car, according to the affidavit.

Detectives recovered several items of evidence, including an AK-style rifle and a .38-caliber handgun consistent with the weapon believed to have been used in the shootings, according to the affidavit.

At the time of the shootings, Tran was out on $30,000 bond on felony possession of a weapon on school grounds, for allegedly carrying a weapon on the Cal State Long Beach campus last July, according to the US Department of Justice

Tran has been in federal custody since his arrest on February 17 for the criminal complaint in the case.

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