Oakdale man charged in shooting that killed boyby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
STILLWATER, Minn. — Nhan Lap Tran had over 200 more rounds of 9mm ammunition in a backpack and a fanny pack he was carrying when arrested after a shooting spree on Monday, charges released Wednesday state.
"I think without the alacrity and courage of the Washington County Sheriff's Office, the Oakdale Police, Woodbury and everbody else, I can only imagine if he'd been on the loose longer," said Washington County Attorney Pete Orput, after a court hearing for Tran this morning. "He had enough bullets to kill a lot more people."
Tran was charged with two counts of second degree murder, one for attempted murder and three felony assault charges in Washington County District Court Wednesday morning. District Court Judge Ellen Maas set his bail at $2 million. Tran didn't enter a plea or make any statements during the hearing.
Maas also appointed a public defender to the case, and Tran's attorney, Susan Drabek, asked for a mental health evaluation for her client.
That was the only indication Wednesday of a potential cause of the shooting rampage that killed Devin Aryal, 9, as his mother drove him home from after school care on Monday night.
The complaint against Tran said that he admitted to police that he opened fire on cars passing on the street beside his home and that he would have shot more vehicles if they'd been on the road. He also told police that he reloaded at least once to keep shooting, after he'd opened fire in what police called a "completely random" attack.
"Unfortunately, we can't answer the why," Orput said. "Sometimes we never know the why."
The court documents describe a roadside ambush, saying Tran was standing at the corner of Seventh Street and Hadley Avenue, firing into vehicles as they approached the intersection. Witnesses said the shooter fled through a nearby parking lot, and police arrested Tran in the parking lot of a nearby industrial park.
He told police he dropped the weapon and put his hands in the air as soon as police approached him.