Jewish Calendar November 2024

Ex-RivCo man agrees to plead guilty to shooting two Jewish men leaving L.A. synagogues

A man arrested for shooting two Jewish men after they left synagogues in the Los Angeles area last year has agreed to plead guilty to hate crimes and firearms offenses, the Justice Department announced.

November  Jewish Calendar with Hebrew Holidays
November Jewish Calendar with Hebrew Holidays

Jaime Tran, 29, will plead guilty to all charges against him, which includes two counts of hate crimes with intent to kill and two counts of using, carrying, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

More: Man accused of shooting two Jewish men leaving LA synagogues arrested in Cathedral City

Tran is expected to plead guilty to the felony charges before United States District Judge George H. Wu in the coming weeks.

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Jewish Calendar November Template – Edit Online & Download

He faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each hate crime count, and a maximum of life imprisonment and a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for each firearm count.

Under the plea agreement, which prosecutors filed Tuesday, Tran would receive a prison sentence of between 35 years and 40 years.

“These horrific acts – motivated by poisonous, antisemitic beliefs – shocked our community,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “Law enforcement will continue to work together to prevent and punish hate crimes. Our resolve remains firm, standing with our Jewish community and others to oppose acts of hate.”

Check Out: Local Jewish community reacts to alleged shooter of two Jewish men in LA arrested in the valley

According to his plea agreement, Tran developed and espoused antisemitic beliefs and made violent threats toward Jewish people.

In 2018, he left dental school after making hate-filled statements about other students whom he perceived to be Jewish, the indictment states.

From August to December, Tran’s antisemitic statements escalated and used increasingly violent language, including against a former classmate whom he repeatedly called and texted with messages such as “I want you dead, Jew. Someone is going to kill you, Jew” and “Burn in an oven chamber,” the indictment revealed.  

In November, Tran allegedly emailed two dozen former classmates a flyer containing antisemitic propaganda, including a statement blaming the COVID-19 pandemic on a Jewish conspiracy.

As a result of previous mental health holds, Tran was prohibited from purchasing firearms.

In January 2023 while in Phoenix, Arizona, Tran asked a third party to buy two firearms for him. Tran selected the firearms he wanted and paid approximately $1,500 in cash to the third party, who then purchased them, the DOJ revealed.

On Feb. 15, 2023, Tran performed internet searches for “kosher markets” to learn areas where Jewish people congregate. He drove to Pico-Robertson and shot a Jewish victim wearing a yarmulke as he was leaving religious services at a synagogue.

Tran, believing the victim was Jewish, shot him at close range in the back, intending to kill him. Tran then fled the scene in his car.

The next morning, Tran returned to the Pico-Robertson area, where he shot a second Jewish victim, also wearing a yarmulke and leaving a synagogue after attending religious services.

Tran shot the victim at close range, intending to kill him, as the victim crossed the street. Tran again fled the scene. 

Both victims survived the attacks.

After the shootings, investigators were able to trace Tran to Riverside County. He was arrested in Cathedral City when police responded to a report of a man who had fired a gun and was carrying a weapon near his car, according to an affidavit.

Detectives recovered several items of evidence — including an AK- style rifle and a .38-caliber handgun consistent with the weapon believed to have been used in the shootings, according to the affidavit.

“On approaching the car, the officers saw in plain view on the driver side front seat an AK-style rifle and a .380-caliber handgun, consistent with the firearm believed to have been used in the shootings, based on shell casings left at the scene. Officers also found a spent casing consistent with having been discharged from an AK-style rifle,”

– Criminal Complaint

At the time of the shootings, Tran was free on $30,000 bond on a felony charge of possessing a weapon on school grounds — for allegedly carrying a gun on the campus of Cal State Long Beach last July, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Tran has been in federal custody since his Feb. 17 arrest.