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Man Accused in West LA Hate Shootings Was Subject of Law Enforcement Alert

An internal law enforcement threat notification was circulated in late 2022 about the man now facing federal hate crime charges for shooting two men near a synagogue in West Los Angeles, and at least two police agencies outside California stopped, but did not arrest, the man prior to the shootings.

Jaime Tran, 28, is accused in a federal court complaint of violating U.S. hate crime laws for the attacks on February 15 and 16, in which the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Tran confessed to specifically targeting men he believed were Jewish. Both victims survived their wounds.

The law enforcement alert, called a “guardian” lead, was sent after Tran allegedly began sending violent anti-Semitic email and text message threats to former classmates.

“He was on the radar of our FBI partners because of hate-fueled remarks or emails that he was sending to former classmates of a dental school in which he was attending,” Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore said Tuesday.

Guardian alerts are collected and managed by the FBI and are provided to law enforcement agencies around the U.S. for information about potential or actual terrorism threats or suspicious activity, but they do not require police agencies to take any specific action.

Law enforcement sources told the NBC4 I-Team that Tran was stopped by police in late 2022 in Pennsylvania and Michigan, but it was unclear if the officers there knew at the time that Tran was named in that alert or that he was out on bail from a weapons arrest in Long Beach.

Tran had been arrested in July 2022 on the campus of California State University Long Beach while allegedly armed with a loaded Glock model 23 handgun. The LA County District Attorney’s Office said Tran was charged in August 2022 with unlawfully possessing a firearm on the campus of a college or university and was released from jail after posting bail.

On November 24, 2022, Tran was stopped by police in Sandy Township, Pennsylvania and cited for a speeding violation. In December 2022, Tran was questioned by police in Michigan after a business owner in Champaign, Illinois reported Tran may have taken a company vehicle without permission, the sources said. No charges were filed in the vehicle case.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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