Minnesota boy, 9, killed in apparent random shooting
OAKDALE, Minn. — Police were still trying to determine on Tuesday why a 34-year-old man randomly shot at passing vehicles in a suburban St. Paul neighborhood, wounding a female driver and killing her 9-year-old son, an aspiring astronaut whom she'd just picked up from daycare.
A witness said that the man, whom police identified Tuesday as Nhan Lap Tran of Oakdale, was nonchalantly walking down the block the night before, as if he were on a stroll, when he began firing.
Devin Aryal, 9, of Oakdale was killed. His mother, Melissa Aryal, 39, was shot in the arm. A woman in another vehicle was wounded but was expected to survive.
Police Chief Bill Sullivan said it appeared Tran legally owned the handgun used in the attack. Authorities are not aware of any mental health issues he may have. Sullivan said officials were trying to determine if something happened to trigger the shootings.
“At this particular point in time it appears to be completely random,” Sullivan said.
Sullivan said Tran was arrested on Monday when police responded to the neighborhood on a report of shots fired. Tran was arrested about a half-mile away from where the shooting started, and was in custody Tuesday on suspicion of second-degree murder and first-degree assault. Prosecutors expected to file charges on Wednesday.
Sullivan said Tran does not have a history with Oakdale police. Tran did not have a criminal history, according to online court records.
Cheryl Russell, 55, lives across the street from the house where police said Tran lived for several years. She said she was sitting on her couch about 6 p.m. Monday when she looked out her bay window and saw a short, stocky man in dark clothes walking down the street.
She heard popping noises, which she thought were from firecrackers.
Moments later, Russell said, her son shouted from upstairs that a man was outside shooting at cars. Russell peered out the window to see flashes from the gun as the man fired. She watched as he walked up the hill and out of sight, still shooting at cars. She said she heard about 15 shots.
“He was nonchalant,” Russell said. “Just walking like he was out for a stroll. It was crazy.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Hostility at VA lingers, panel told
- Study a surprise: Commercial bees unfazed by pesticides
- Magma chamber spied under Yellowstone volcano
- House demands details of Taliban detainees swap for Bergdahl
- 15 buffalo that escaped from farm killed in upstate N.Y.
- Residents guide geese out of town
- Administration turns up heat on Medicaid expansion
- ‘Organic’ tag on water-raised produce raises ire
- Footage of protesters walking on flag sparks strife at Georgia university
- Holder delivers farewell address
- Florida fraternity members spit on disabled veterans at retreat