Federal grand jury indicts man on hate crime charges after he allegedly shot 2 Jewish men in Los Angeles in February
A federal grand jury on Friday indicted the man accused of shooting two Jews in February with hate crimes and weapons offenses, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.
The grand jury indicted Jaime Tran, 28, with two counts of aggravated assault with intent to cause bodily injury and attempted murder of his victims and two counts of discharging a firearm in connection with a crime of violence, the indictment said.
Tran is accused of targeting and shooting two Jewish men as they were leaving religious services in separate Jewish neighborhoods in Los Angeles on February 15 and 16. Both men were taken to hospital after the shooting.
According to a news release from federal prosecutors, Trance had a history of anti-Semitic statements, which “escalated and [he] Used increasingly violent language between August 2022 and December 2022. In one case, he repeatedly called and texted a former classmate with hateful messages, one of which said, “Somebody’s gonna kill you Jew,” prosecutors alleged. It is unclear if Tran has previously been charged for the alleged messages.
Prosecutors also said that if Tran is convicted, they will seek the forfeiture of his weapons — a Kahr Arms pistol and an AK-style Zastva rifle — as part of his sentence, court documents show.
CNN has reached out to Tran’s attorney for comment.
Tran is scheduled to be arraigned on March 9.
If convicted, Tran faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each hate crime count, according to prosecutors. The weapons conviction carries a minimum sentence of 10 years and a possible maximum sentence of life in prison.
Tran was taken into federal custody after he was arrested by police on Feb. 17 in Riverside County, about an hour east of Los Angeles, where he previously lived, officials said. The Los Angeles Police Department said detectives found several pieces of evidence, including guns.
The prosecution did not identify the two victims in the indictment. U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada previously said that at the time of the shooting, the two were wearing clothing that identified their Jewish faith as they wore black coats and head coverings.
The shooting comes amid a spike in anti-Semitic violence across the country. According to the Anti-Defamation League, anti-Semitic attacks a Record high In the US in 2021 – up 34% from 2020.