OAKDALE SHOOTING: Police say 'noisy cars' prompted fatal spree - KMSP-TV

OAKDALE SHOOTING: Police say 'noisy cars' prompted fatal spree

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    Tuesday, February 12 2013 11:03 PM EST2013-02-13 04:03:42 GMT
    Oakdale police said innocent people were targeted by 34-year-old Nhan Lap Tran in a "random" shooting Monday night near the Rainbow Foods grocery store. A 9-year-old boy was shot and killed.
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    Tuesday, February 12 2013 3:48 PM EST2013-02-12 20:48:48 GMT
    Oakdale police responded to a chaotic scene that unfolded near the Rainbow Foods grocery store on Monday night after several bursts of gunfire erupted. Officials say innocent people were targeted.
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OAKDALE, Minn. (KMSP) -

Investigators claim the Oakdale man accused of killing a 9-year-old boy while firing randomly at passing cars did so because he had been woken up by revving engines in front of his home, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Nhan Lap Tran, 34, was arrested in February after open-firing near the Rainbow Foods grocery store in Oakdale. Police said Tran fired multiple rounds at four vehicles and had plenty of additional ammunition at the time of his arrest.

The St. Paul Pioneer press reported a note found in his bedroom at the time of arrest read, "Random Kill, Fake Plates." The date "12/12/12" was also written all over the walls of his bedroom, the affidavit filed in Washington County District Court said.

Tran was charged with six felonies, including second-degree intentional murder and second-degree murder during an assault.

Tran's public defender requested a mental health evaluation during his first court appearance in February, and a review hearing is scheduled for March 25.

NEIGHBORS DID NOT RECOGNIZE HIM

Neighbors told FOX 9 News they don't know Tran, and didn't realize he was a resident when they saw him in the street with a gun.

"Saw the guy walking erratically," recalled Derek Lowan. "He was turning, looking behind him. He was acting very paranoid."

Witnesses say Tran walked out of his parent's home, where he lived, and began shooting at anything. Lowan told FOX 9 News he grabbed his hunting rifle, called 911 and watched Tran walk up to the corner where he opened fire and struck four cars.

"I feel pretty bad," Lowan said. "Part of me wishes I'd taken action, but I knew I acted correctly calling 911."

WHAT HAPPENED

Reports of the shooting first emerged at about 6 p.m. after bullets struck a woman's SUV and pierced her windshield. The bullets broke through the glass near the intersection of Hadley Avenue and 7th Street.

The driver of the SUV was not injured. Her husband told FOX 9 News she ducked as she saw the gunman aim at her windshield and open fire, adding that she "floored it" to get to safety.

Police said the mother of the 9-year-old who was killed had been driving when bullets burst in. She pulled into the Rainbow Foods parking lot seeking help.

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