Campus, News

CSULB alumnus allegedly involved in synagogue shooting, same suspect arrested by UPD last year

A Long Beach State alumnus recently charged with a federal hate crime on Friday, Feb. 17, for allegedly shooting two Jewish men in Los Angeles was identified as the same individual who was arrested by University Police Department last summer.

A non-fatal shooting outside a Jewish synagogue in West Los Angeles happened on two separate occasions last week, one on Feb. 15 around 9:55 a.m. and the other on Feb. 16 around 8:30 a.m., according to LAPD.

The suspect, identified as Jamie Tran, 28, was allegedly involved in both shootings. LAPD tracked the suspect to an area in Riverside County where he was taken into custody without incident on Thursday evening, Feb. 16. Building evidence in the ongoing investigation has led prosecutors to believe this was the act of an anti-Semitic hate crime.

President Jane Close Conoley sent a campus-wide email to the Beach community on Saturday and identified Tran as a former CSULB student. John Brockie, police chief of the UPD, confirmed this was the same person the University Police Department had arrested on July 3, 2022, after receiving a phone call about a man carrying a gun.

Brockie said the caller saw Tran holding a weapon that looked like a handgun, and three dispatched officers found Tran sitting near the College of Engineering with the weapon in his hand.

While he didn’t speak with Tran personally, Brockie said nothing in the conversation with the officers led them to believe he intended to use the weapon on campus. Tran appeared disoriented when the officers found him, according to Brockie.

“We don’t know why he came here, other than he graduated from here in 2016,” Brockie said.

When the officers ordered Tran to drop his weapon and lie on the ground, he cooperated, and the officers were able to safely remove the gun without incident. The handgun was a stolen weapon from Texas, and Brockie speculated the gun had made its way to California where Tran picked it up.

No firearms were registered to Tran when he was arrested by UPD.

There was a reported 34% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the nation in 2021, according to the Anti-Defamation League, an all-time high for the United States. The same source found a 29% increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in Los Angeles from 2019 to 2020, while the city of Long Beach saw a decrease of 22% within the same time period.

Tran was charged with two counts of federal hate crimes based on evidence from the ongoing investigation, according to the United States Department of Justice, and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 3.

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