IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Suspect pleads not guilty in shootings of 2 Jewish men in L.A.

The suspect is charged with two counts of hate crimes, among other counts. He is accused in two separate shootings last month that wounded two men as they left synagogues.
Los Angeles Police Assistant Chief Robert E. Marino, left, and Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass denounce anti-Semitism and hate crimes at a news conference in Los Angeles Friday, Feb. 17, 2023. A person was taken into custody Thursday in connection with the shootings of two Jewish men outside synagogues in Los Angeles this week that investigators believe were hate crimes, police said.
Assistant Police Chief Robert E. Marino and Mayor Karen Bass denounce antisemitism and hate crimes at a news conference in Los Angeles on Feb. 17.Damian Dovarganes / AP file
/ Source: Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — A man who allegedly shot and wounded two Jewish men as they left synagogues in Los Angeles last month pleaded not guilty Thursday to federal hate crimes, authorities said.

The shootings Feb. 15 and Feb. 16 brought fear into L.A.’s Jewish community after officials said the victims were targeted because they wore clothing that identified their faith, including black coats and head coverings. Both survived the violence.

Jaime Tran, 28, is charged with two counts of hate crimes and two counts of using, carrying and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, at podium, addresses community members, and state and local law enforcement officials in a town hall on antisemitic violence at YULA Boys High School in Los Angeles Monday, Feb. 20, 2023. The event was hosted by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles following recent shootings targeting Jewish community members in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass addresses community members and state and local law enforcement officials at a town hall about antisemitic violence on Feb. 20.Damian Dovarganes / AP file

He entered his not guilty plea Thursday in federal court. He remains held without bail.

Kate Corrigan, one of Tran’s attorneys, said she expects to receive discovery-hearing evidence within the coming days as she prepares his defense.

“We’ll be looking at the overall scenario in this case and addressing the charges,” she said Thursday.

Tran told law enforcement that he looked online for a “kosher market” and decided to shoot someone nearby, according at an affidavit filed by the FBI. He also admitted to shooting someone the previous day, the affidavit said.

Tran has “history of antisemitic and threatening conduct,” an FBI affidavit said, citing a review of emails, text messages and unspecified reports.

In 2022, he emailed former classmates using insulting language about Jewish people, and he threatened a Jewish former classmate, according to the affidavit.