BEVERLY HILLS—On Friday, March 3, 2023 a federal grand jury indicted Jaime Tran, 28, on four counts for allegedly shooting two Jewish victims after they left synagogues in the Pico-Roberston area of Los Angeles last month, the United States Attorney’s Office, Central District of California released in a statement.  

Tran is charged with two hate crime counts for willfully causing bodily injury and attempting to kill his victims. The grand jury charged Tran with two counts of discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence, noted the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a statement. 

On February 15, at approximately 9:45 a.m., Tran allegedly drove his Honda Civic to the Pico-Robertson neighborhood and located his first victim – a 47- year-old male, identified in the indictment as “Victim A” – who was wearing a kippah and leaving religious services at a synagogue at the 1400 block of Shenandoah Street. Tran reportedly drove up to Victim A as he was getting into his car across the street from the synagogue and shot Victim A at close range in the back. Tran had intent to kill him, but Victim A survived. 

On February 16, at approximately 8 a.m., Tran returned to the Pico-Roberston area and approached a second victim – a 70-year-old Orthodox man identified as “Victim B,” who was wearing a kippah – leaving a synagogue at the intersection of Pickford Street and Bedford Street. Tran shot Victim B, who sustained wounds but survived. 

Leading up to these two separate attacks, Tran reportedly acquired at least two firearms and performed internet searches for “Kosher markets” to learn areas where Jewish people congregate, the indictment states. 

From 2018-2022, Tran displayed antisemitic behavior and reportedly made violent threats towards Jewish people. In 2018, Tran left dental school after making hate-filled statements about other student peers whom he perceived to be Jewish. From August 2022 – December 2022, Tran’s antisemitic language emboldened and became increasingly violent. Tran repeatedly called and texted a former classmate messages like, “I want you dead, Jew,” “Someone is going to kill you, Jew,” and “Burn in an oven chamber,” the indictment alleges. 

In November 2022, Tran emailed an antisemitic flyer that read, “EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE COVID AGENDA IS JEWISH” to two dozen former classmates. This antisemitic rhetoric is similar to propaganda flyers spread by the antisemitic hate group, Goyim Defense League, a group of individuals responsible for spreading hate and conspiracy theories on social media and online. It was not disclosed if Tran is a member of the group. 

Tran was arrested on a “criminal complaint” in the Palm Springs area of Cathedral City on February 17, 2023 and has been in federal custody ever since. Authorities identified the vehicle – through witness statements and CCTV footage – used in the shootings and were able to track the registration to Tran. At the time of his arrest, Cathedral City police confiscated an AK-style firearm and a .380-caliber handgun in Tran’s vehicle, the New York Post reported. 

His arraignment is set for March 9 in United States District Court in downtown Los Angeles. 

If convicted on all four charges, Tran faces a statutory maximum sentence of life in federal prison for each hate crime count, and a maximum of life and mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for each firearms count.