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Nhan Tran, Minn. man, charged in shooting attack that injured 2 women, killed 9-year-old boy

Nhan Tran CBS Minnesota

Nhan Tran
CBS Minnesota

(CBS/AP) MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota man was charged with murder Wednesday after he allegedly open fired at passing cars while standing in the street and killing a 9-year-old boy in the process, prosecutors said.

Nhan Tran, 34, was charged in the shooting attack that killed fourth-grader Devin Aryal and wounded his mother and another woman on Monday in Oakdale, Minn. Two other motorists escaped as they were being fired upon, according to the criminal complaint.

Authorities said Tran admitted to shooting at the vehicles, but he did not say why. A Washington County District Court judge ordered Tran to undergo a mental health examination. Tran has no criminal record, and authorities said they don't know of any past mental health issues.

"This case is simply a senseless tragedy," Washington County Attorney Pete Orput said. "We cannot comprehend a situation where a parent loses their child in any manner, much less in this way."

Tran was carrying two loaded 9 mm magazines and two large knives when he was arrested, according to the criminal complaint. A loaded 9 mm handgun, with a bullet in the chamber, was found nearby. He reportedly admitted to tossing the gun aside when he saw authorities closing in.

Fred Fink Jr., chief of the Washington County Attorney's Office Criminal Division, estimated that Tran had close to 200 rounds of ammunition in his jacket and packs when he was arrested.

Devin was riding home from daycare in a minivan when he was shot multiple times, including in the head. He died from his injuries. His mother, 39-year-old Melissa Aryal, was shot in the arm.

Aryal said she was driving Monday evening when she saw a man on foot shooting at her minivan, according to the complaint said. She drove to the parking lot of a nearby Rainbow Foods when she realized was shot. She then noticed Devin was slumped over, and held him until an ambulance arrived.

"He didn't deserve this. He was just a baby," she said Tuesday.

Karen Knoblach, 68, was driving another vehicle with her three granddaughters when they saw a man shooting at them. Knoblach was shot in the leg and hand. She had to have part of a finger amputated but was in good condition at Regions Hospital on Wednesday.

Two other vehicles were also damaged by gunfire. One woman said she saw a man shoot five times at one vehicle, then turn his gun on her. The woman ducked and kept driving as gunshots hit her windshield, according to the criminal complaint. Police found three bullet holes in her front windshield, and one bullet had hit the headrest of the front passenger seat, the complaint said.

A man in another vehicle told police he saw a man in the street and realized he was being shot at when a bullet struck his windshield. The driver said he saw the gunman bend over as if he was reloading, so he quickly drove away, the complaint said.

A witness told The Associated Press that the gunman appeared calm as he walked down the block, firing his weapon.

"He was nonchalant," said Cheryl Russell, a neighbor who saw the shooting. "Just walking like he was out for a stroll. It was crazy."

Tran is charged with a total of six counts, including one count of second-degree intentional murder and one count of second-degree murder during an assault. He also faces charges of attempted murder and assault. Bail was set at $2 million.

More on Crimesider
Feb. 12, 2013 - Boy, 9, killed, two women injured, in apparent random shooting in near St. Paul, police say

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