Police: Shooting Suspect Has No Criminal History, No Indication of Mental Health Issues

The Oakdale Police Department held a press conference Tuesday afternoon regarding a shooting that occurred Monday night.

Police are actively investigating a "random" shooting that injured two people and killed a 9-year-old boy.

Police arrested an Oakdale man Monday night after receiving a report of gunfire at the 6900 block of Seventh Street. Shortly after, Nhan Lap Tran, 34, was apprehended at the 400 block of Hale Avenue and booked in Washington County Jail on suspicion of  second-degree murder and felony assault.

Initial reports indicate that Tran was shooting a handgun at random vehicles and hit four vehicles. Multiple rounds were shot in the area, said Police Chief Bill Sullivan 

The shots hit Melissa Aryal and her 9-year-old son, Devin, who was a passenger in the vehicle. They were both transported to Regions Hospital, where Devin was pronounced dead from multiple gunshot wounds, according to preliminary results.

His mother was treated for her injuries and released. 

"This is a sad commentary on our society as a whole," said Mayor Carmen Sarrack. "We send our condolences and prayers to Devin's family." 

A third female victim, 68, was also shot in a separate vehicle. She was transported to Regions Hospital and is undergoing surgery for her wounds. The woman, who has not been identified, will survive, Sullivan said. 

Police were able to retrieve the handgun and found several more rounds of unused ammunition. Police interviewed Tran Monday night and believe no other suspects are at large. It also appears that Tran did not know the victims of the shooting, according to police. 

"The suspect has submitted to authority and showed no resistance to police" Sullivan said. "He did not threaten police." 

Investigators are still trying to determine what started the incident.

Tran has no criminal history. There are no indicators that Tran was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or that he has mental health issues.

Police also believe that Tran owned the gun legally.

"We are comfortable that he did not have the gun illegally," Sullivan said. 

The case is under active investigation. Tran has not yet been formally charged. Washington County Attorney Pete Orput told the Star Tribune that charges should be filed Wednesday morning against Tran.  




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KallyGirl February 13, 2013 at 04:02 PM
My thoughts and Prayers go out to Devin's family, I am so sorry for your loss. It makes me so mad to think about what happened, how careless this man was for human life. It is so sad to think that now we all get to pay for this guy to sit in our prisons and/or mental facility for the rest of his life. That is his reward for killing and hurting people. Room and Board, medical care every day for the rest of his life. Whatever happened to eye for an eye. The families he hurt should be able to do the same thing to him that he has done to them. If the families can not do it, then death by firing squad. He should not be able to live! You take a life, you forfeit your right to live on this earth, you as well should have to give up your right to breathe.
woodtick February 13, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Kally, I couldn't agree with you more!! Whats with the 2nd degree murder charge? This animal loaded his weapon, ( guns don't load up themselves) had every intention of murder, (you can't order a gun to fire on it's own) and went out to find his targets.Thinking & carrying out his PLAN should certainly constitute 1st degree with "intent" to commit murder. Are we looking the other way because this guy is from another country? Viet Nam! We know what "they" would do in the Nam if this guy had done this there. One 1 round. PUBLIC! Stop the Liberal crap & set an example for trash like this. NO EXCUSES! NO county money. No lawyer pleading his "temporary insanity" (that'll come out for sure) & using this poor victims own family tax dollars to house this pile of crap! Guns didn't do this crime. Don't blame the guns and make statements that "sound good" to use as reinforcement to abolish or change an Amendment. Instead go after the real problem. Show the perps what will happen to those who take a life by murder. Plaster that all over the national & local news. It'll make anyone think twice about commiting such an act. It's all bull*** when you hear a family say " I forgive the person". Oh, That'd be just great if a statement like that would honestly stop the grief and heartache that NEVER goes away! NEVER!! Lets be truthful. Before I am chastised....I admit that revenge doesn't make things better, just even. Eye for an eye. It's what is taught in ALL cultures.


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