Jaime Tran Bio – Jaime Tran Wiki
Two Jewish men were shot within two days of each other after leaving their synagogues in Los Angeles by a man with a history of making antisemitic threats.
Jaime Tran is 28 years old.
DETAIL OF INCIDENCE:
Jaime Tran was charged Friday with two counts of federal hate crimes in connection with the shootings that occurred on Wednesday and Thursday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) stated in an official news release.
According to a criminal complaint unsealed in federal court Friday, Tran told police after his arrest that he looked up kosher markets on Yelp to find targets and “decided to shoot someone in the area of the market,” ABC 7 reported.
In the complaint, Tran also told police that he “visibly identified” the men he allegedly shot as Jewish by their attire and “headgear,” according to the Los Angeles Times.
Per the L.A. Times, the complaint states that Tran has a history of making antisemitic threats, emailing dozens of former classmates that Jews are “primitive” and repeatedly texting another former classmate threatening messages such as “I want you dead, Jew.”
The Los Angeles Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Martin Estrada, the U.S. attorney for the Central District of California, said in a press conference Thursday that Tran was “motivated by antisemitism,” adding, “Hate crimes have no place in our community,” per ABC 7.
Calling the shootings “two horrific acts,” Estrada said, “This type of criminal conduct is absolutely unacceptable,” according to the L.A. Times.
“Over the past two days, our community experienced two horrific acts we believe were motivated by an antisemitic ideology that caused him to target the Jewish community,” said Estrada. “It is important, especially in one of the most diverse areas in the world, that we celebrate our differences, and stand together to oppose acts of hate.”
The two men were shot in an area of Los Angeles where many synagogues are located, as well as the Museum of Tolerance, which is operated by the Jewish human rights organization Simon Wiesenthal Center, the outlet reported.
The first shooting occurred Wednesday morning at around 10 a.m. near the intersection of Shenandoah and Cashio. A man in his 40s was walking to his vehicle when he was shot in the back, according to the DOJ’s statement.
The second took place around 8 a.m. on Thursday near Pickford and South Bedford, where a man walking home was shot in the arm, per the DOJ.
Both victims survived the attacks, despite being shot at close range leaving religious services, the DOJ release stated.
“We were lucky that we’re not going to funerals. That’s just the reality,” Rabbi Abraham Cooper from the Simon Wiesenthal Center said at a news conference announcing the charges on Friday, per the L.A. Times.
Tran was arrested on Thursday in Palm Springs, Calif. — which is about 100 miles from Los Angeles — on Thursday after police tracked him using his cellphone location, as well as reports by local police in the adjacent town Cathedral City that a man fired a gun near a Honda Civic, the outlet reported.
According to the L.A. Times, councilmember Katy Young Yaroslavsky, whose district includes Pico-Robertson, said Thursday the shootings coincide with “a rise in antisemitic attacks in recent months.